Tebogo writes: I applied for a R200 000 loan from a company called Blue Financial Services. They told me the loan was approved and I had to pay a R200 administration fee, which I did. Then they sent me a lawyers letter requiring an amount of R3 750 for cost of transfer of the loan, which I paid. Then they requested a further R5 000 as the money is coming from a foreign bank, then requested a further R7 500 for insurance. I paid all of this and each time it was a different bank account and I still don’t have the money from the agreed loan.
Unfortunately this looks like another loan scam. There are many fraudsters pretending to be credit providers and asking for money upfront, only to disappear once they have your money.
The only recourse is to open a case with the police as you would if someone stole money from you. It is very important that you do so in order for the police to collect as much information about these syndicates as possible. The National Credit Regulator is unable to assist as the company is not a registered lender.
If you’re considering taking out a personal loan, please be careful when dealing with unregistered lenders. According to the National Credit Regulator, look out for these warning signs:
- They ask for money upfront: The National Credit Act does not allow credit providers to request upfront payment for the release of personal loans. Consumers should not pay money before they are granted a personal loan.
- No affordability or credit assessments are conducted: All credit providers are required to conduct affordability assessments and credit checks before granting loans. So if the credit provider is bypassing this process, it should raise questions
- No orange sticker: You can verify a registered credit provider by checking that they have a window decal (orange sticker on their window with the NCR logo); registration certificate at their business premises which has an NCR logo and the NCRCP number. You can further check whether the credit provider appears on the NCR’s website, which carries a list of all registered credit providers, lapsed and cancelled credit providers.
- They use a foreign domain: For online credit providers, consumers should be wary of those using websites or emails with internet domains such as yahoo.com, webmail.co.za, .co.uk, admin.in.th, and manager.in.th.
If you are unsure or in doubt about the legitimacy of a credit provider, contact the National Credit Regulator on 0860 627 627 or www.ncr.org.za.