Personal loan scam artists never sleep or take a vacation! With the popularity of fintech products, scammers have become more sophisticated. Many are operating comfortably in the world of cyber-crime.
But, the old fashion scam lives on. You may receive these personal scam loan offers in the mail, via email or even on social media. Vigilance is required to protect your assets and your credit score from those who want to rob you.
When you Need a Loan, Turn to a Legitimate Lender
There are many reasons why you might need a personal loan. Your first course of action should be to come to Peerform, for a P2P loan. In fact, this should be the first item in your personal loan scam protection basket.
With Peerform or any p2p lender for that matter, you will experience an honest, straightforward, and simple process that adheres to all the security measures you need to protect your financial health.
But, should you find yourself with personal loan suiters, here are some warning signs to let you know that you are swimming with personal loan scammers.
A Loan Offer with no Credit Check
You can be sure this is a personal loan scam if a lender offers you a personal loan and says they will not check your credit. Peer-to-peer loans assess your credit score differently, and they are the best source for getting a loan if you have bad credit. But, p2p lenders DO check your credit. Every legitimate lender will check your credit score. Lenders need to know that you will be able to pay back the loan.
You Need to Pay a Fee Upfront
There are fees involved in getting a personal loan. But, if the lender tells you that you need to pay a loan fee upfront before processing the application, cut off all communications.
Now, scammers are smart so they might not call it a loan fee. They typically will call it a processing fee or an application fee. Or they might require you to take out a prepaid debit card that will be used for the fees and other expenses.
A legitimate personal loan lender will fold the loan fee, otherwise known as an origination fee, into the loan itself. It is not a payment that you make straight to the lender. And they do not require you to take a prepaid debit card.
If you get this great offer, and you need to pay a fee just to move forward, you know it is a personal loan scam.
Company Materials are Poorly Written
Most personal loan offers are going to come to you over the internet since that is where consumers spend most of their time. You might get an email, or SMS, or see an ad scrolling on the website you are visiting. It might even come in the mail.
Even though we live in an era of language short-cuts, a legitimate loan company will be staffed with professionals who know how to write. If you see a lot of errors in spelling or grammar, you are probably dealing with a personal loan scammer.
Many times, scammers are in non-English speaking countries, and they use a machine translator. Carefully check the materials you receive. Investigate the sender on the internet and through social media BEFORE you send any financial information.
Before you engage in communications with any personal loan lender, look at their website address. You will find this at the top of your browser. Look for the “https” and a padlock icon in the address. Better yet, download security software that will protect your online surfing for you.
A software that includes layers of financial security is the best. If you can’t afford to pay for one, there are free versions that have fewer features but will still help you stay safe.
The Lender has no Physical Address
Even though marketplace lenders are conducting business online, they still have a physical address where their employees work. If the personal loan lender claims to be online only, then you are facing a personal loan scam. And, even if the lender displays a physical address, you should still check it out on Google to be sure that the address is not a parking lot or some other unpopulated area.
The Lender is Unregistered
If you have never heard of this lender before, then before you even click on the ad, check to see if they are legitimate. Lenders are required to be registered in the state in which they are conducting or offering to conduct business. Go to your government website and look them up.
Even if you go to the lender’s website and they claim to be registered to do business in your state, still check with your state’s government website to confirm.
Unsolicited Email Offers
It is not unusual to see personal loan advertisements on the websites that you visit, as we mentioned above. If you receive it via email, then you have more reason to be suspicious. The email could be a phishing attack.
Scammers are clever. They can easily use a legitimate company’s email address on the mail they send you. However, they will change a digit or letter. The change will be very subtle. The first thing to do is head to the alleged lender’s website, go to the contact page and see if the email address matches.
In the meantime, if the email comes with an attachment, DO NOT open it. This is where the phishing comes in and the mess it will give you is not worth the curiosity. Another red flag will be if the email offer asks for personal identity details.
One Time Only or On-line Special
If the personal loan lender says that this is a one-time opportunity or provides a “special” with a date deadline, it is a personal loan scam. Legitimate personal loan lenders are open for business all the time and do not offer specials. Any “special” that you secure will depend upon your personal financial status.
Bottom line: If you need a personal loan open your digital device and look for a P2P lender. Peerform offers many different personal loans. Stay legitimate: stay safe.