Long before the Covid-19 disruption started the govt (represented via the National Credit Regulator aka NCR) and financial Entities have continuously been warning consumers to be vigilant and not divulge their personal data, or click on ‘sketchy’ hyperlinks and opening unfamiliar emails or messages. The recent Covid-19 pandemic period has, unfortunately, paved the way for hackers and fraudster opportunists to still feed on vulnerable South Africans. Perhaps you’ll learn from experience? Debt Safe cannot emphasise enough – you and other consumers got to take caution when considering removing loans, applying for any sort of credit or, sharing information which will exploit your dire financial situation even further.
“Lately I even have seen various sketchy emails or TXT messages doing the rounds again – the common pattern or procedure of loan-sharks that our consumers are confronted with. Consumers are finding themselves in tight situations and end up falling victim to those con artists. Criminals disguise their procedures and offer so-called ‘legal credit proposals’ like loans, for instance . A typical advert can include certain conditions and ‘upfront payments’ or fees. Consumers shouldn’t be caught off-guard as this is often illegal and a criminal offense consistent with the National Credit Act,” says Carla Oberholzer (debt adviser at DebtSafe).
What does one got to remember or, look out for?
Take notice of certain marketing descriptions, for instance : “Cost-effective loan during a short time frame”, “*5% Fixed rate of interest , no Credit Review, From R20,000.00 to R10million*”, “COVID Financial Relief Program” or “Call Mr. & Mrs. What rebuke Lockdown Relief”. to not mention a plain: “Hi!”. Don’t you only want to question these strange subject lines? Always Remember: when a ‘credit deal’ sounds too good to be true, it always is.
A registered creditor isn’t allowed to ask an ‘upfront fee’, sometimes mentioned in adverts as an initiation fee or admin fee. These sorts of fees should form a part of the monthly payment amount of the loan, for example. So, look out for keywords within the marketing/advert or terms and conditions AND rather give this sort of ‘real deal’ a skip.
Be well informed, confirm a company’s credentials, and confirm the company or creditor is registered under the NCR.
Do not open or click on links from unfamiliar sources.
Do not expose your personal access information and NEVER divulge your personal or banking details over the phone, email, social media platforms, or websites.
Be careful when it involves your online browsing and activity. confirm you don’t give any of your account information away.
What to try to to if you fall or have fallen victim to a loan or credit scam?
Alert the fraud division of your bank, the varied registered credit bureaus, the Southern African Fraud Prevention Service (SAFPS) also because the complaints department at the NCR.
In some cases, you’ll got to attend your nearest police headquarters (SAPS) to urge an affidavit and report the fraud.
Be careful of cons out there, especially during this challenging financial time. Always stay alert, doublecheck that you simply are sure the credit provider doesn’t provide you with a rip-off, confirm that you simply simply actually need the credit that you want to use for (like a loan), and protect your hard-earned money within the process.