Loan fee fraud is when someone who is looking for a loan is asked to pay an upfront fee before receiving it.
They pay the fee, but they never get the loan.
In December 2019, loan fee fraud was the third most queried scam to the Financial Conduct Authority. (www.fca.org.uk)
The average fee relating to loan fee fraud reported to the FCA is approximately £220.
Be alert to unsolicited emails, text messages, social media and adverts on websites promoting loans.
The following is an extract from the FCA website https://www.fca.org.uk/consumers/loan-fee-fraud
Spot the warning signs of loan fee fraud
- You may have made several loan applications online and then been contacted out of the blue by text, email or phone and offered a loan.
- You may be asked to make an upfront payment into a bank account, or transfer money via an unusual method, for example Western Union or iTunes vouchers.
- The scammers may claim that the fee is refundable and will be used as a deposit, administrative fee, insurance or because of bad credit history.
- You may be put under pressure to pay the fee quickly.
- Once the first payment has been made, the scammer might contact you again to ask for more payments before they can give you the loan.
- Even though you make the payments, you never receive the loan.
How to protect yourself
When applying for a loan, you should only deal with FCA-authorised firms. If you deal with an unauthorised firm, you won’t be covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service if things go wrong.
- Check our Financial Services Register to see if the firm is regulated by us.
- Check that the firm’s contact details match the details the FS Register.
- Always use the contact details on the FS Register, rather than a direct line or email given to you.
- If there are no contact details on the FS Register, or the firm claims they are out of date, call our Consumer Helpline on 0800 111 6768.
- Read more information on unauthorised firms and individuals and how to protect yourself from scams.
If you believe you are a victim of fraud contact:
Action Fraud (www.actionfraud.police.uk)
Mr Nigel Sutton 8517
Cyber Protect Officer
Serious & Organised Crime (Intelligence and Specialist Crime Department)
Ext: 01480 422773
Huntingdon, PE29 6NP