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National Credit Regulator urges consumers to be wary of fake credit providers Print E-mail
Thursday, 19 February 2015

The National Credit Regulator (NCR) has warned consumers to be wary of fake credit providers who offer personal loans at lower than the average interest rates. These fake credit providers contact consumers through e-mail or sms. Once consumers accept the offers, the fake credit providers demand payment of advance fees.

The general mode of operation of the fake credit providers is:-

·         Posing as legitimate credit providers and sending consumers soliciting emails or smses, offering cheap loans;
·         The application process is done via email or facsimile;
·         Consumers are furnished with loan application forms to complete;
·         These application forms appear to be legitimate as they have NCR registration numbers;
·         The fake credit providers use the registration details of credit providers who are lawfully registered with the NCR to enhance their credibility;
·         Shortly after the application, consumers receive loan approval letters via email and are requested to pay advance fees.  These fees are generally defined as clearance or administration fees. Some consumers unfortunately fall into this trap and pay the fees for the release of the loan amounts applied for;
·         Once consumers pay the advance fees requested, the fake credit providers ask for payment of further/additional fees;
·         In the end consumers do not receive the loan amounts applied for and the fake credit provider disappears without a trace.
 
“It has come to the attention of the NCR that most of these fake credit providers are based in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Durban and East London and their email addresses contain domains such as yahoo.com; webmail.co.za; .co.uk; @admin.in.th; @manager.in.th. They always promise charging an interest rate of not more than 5% per annum,” said Takalani Mudau, Acting Manager Complaints Department.
 
“In addition to the fake credit providers soliciting loan applications from consumers, the NCR has discovered that consumers surf the internet to identify credit providers who offer credit to ‘blacklisted’ persons and who use words such as ‘no credit checks required’, ‘free credit’, ‘cheap credit’ and others. It is illegal in terms of the National Credit Act to use these words in advertising credit” cautions Ms. Mudau.
 
Consumers who are victims of schemes of this nature are urged to report them to their local South African Police Service (SAPS).
 
Helpful tips for consumers:

    •    Be wary of the internet domains such as yahoo.com; webmail.co.za; .co.uk; @admin.in.th; @manager.in.th;
    •    The National Credit Act does not allow credit providers  to request upfront payment for the release of personal loans;
    •    Credit providers are required to conduct affordability assessments and credit checks before granting loans.
    •    If unsure or in doubt about the legitimacy of a credit provider consumers are urged to contact the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627 627 or www.ncr.org.za.

(Source - NCR Media Release)
  

 

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