Rising energy prices, the cost of living and the economic crisis as a whole are forcing people to look for alternative ways to pay their debts or to live. The crooks are well aware of this. They are on the lookout to trap the most vulnerable. The Financial Services and Markets Authority (FSMA) has identified 28 fraudulent lenders and is warning us.
To reach the citizen, they use mailings, social networks or advertisements. Once they get in touch with the person, they have excellent arguments to lure you in:
- Lending large amounts at a low interest rate;
- No background check (outstanding loans, timely payment, etc.).
These scammers ask you to pay an insurance premium to start. Once paid, some of them already disappear and the amount paid will never be recovered.
What should I look out for?
- If you receive a credit proposal on the internet or via social networks out of nowhere.
- credit offers with particularly advantageous conditions (very high amount despite your financial situation, very low interest rate, very long repayment period, etc.), especially if approved lenders would not normally grant such credits.
- when the lender asks you to pay a sum of money to cover certain costs. For example, an insurance premium in case of non-repayment of the loan, application fees, etc.
Check whether the lender has the necessary licence or registration. You can easily find out whether the person is properly licensed or registered using the search engine that the FSMA provides on its website.
Remember to also search for the person using the usual search engines, read the reviews and remain vigilant. Some of the positive reviews may also be fake to trick you.
I have a doubt. What should I do?
- If you have any doubts and before making any (new) payments, do not hesitate to contact FSMA directly via its contact form for consumers.
- Also, do not hesitate to notify FSMA if you come into contact with a suspicious company that has not already been warned by FSMA.