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Credit Regulator warns: Don’t fall for loan scam

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Fake credit providers would generally use the details of legitimate credit providers and attempt to make one believe that they are endorsed by government agencies

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THE NATIONAL Credit Regulator (NCR) has warned consumers in the Northern Cape to be wary of fake credit providers who attempt to entrap consumers in loan scams.

According to NCR Manager of Investigations and Enforcement, Jacqueline Peters, these scams typically targeted those who were in distressed financial circumstances and looking for a loan, using slogans such as “blacklisted” or “debt review clients welcome”.

“The increase in these types of scams comes at a time when credit approvals have decreased and consumers are finding themselves to be financially stretched. This is the time to be more vigilant as it is in the vulnerable times that we should make wise decisions.

“The National Credit Act prohibits all advertisements for credit from utilising these prohibited terms and consumers should avoid engaging with any credit provider who advertises in this manner,” she added.”

She added that the fake credit providers would generally use the details of legitimate credit providers and attempt to make one believe that they are endorsed by government agencies such as the NCR.

“Consumers are advised to treat all unexpected calls, emails and SMS messages with caution. “Don’t assume they’re genuine, even if the person seems to know some basic information about you, such as your name.”

She further advised members of the public to look out for the name on all emails, in case it is a “clone company” pretending to be a real credit provider.

“Do not pay any upfront fees to release your loans. The National Credit Act does not allow credit providers to request upfront payments for the release of a loan. If the credit provider makes this request, do not engage further and report them to the relevant authorities, such as the NCR or the SAPS.”

Members of the public were further warned to be aware of platforms and hidden fees included for sourcing a loan and not to be pressured into acting quickly.

“A genuine credit provider won’t mind waiting if you want time to think and compare the costs of credit by using a quotation.

“Never give false or incorrect information on a credit application about your financial affairs.

“Always disclose your financial obligations and living expenses fully and never use an unregistered credit provider.”

Consumer who are unsure or in doubt about the legitimacy of the credit provider or agreement, are advised to contact the NCR on (011) 554 2600/2700 or visit its website at www.ncr.org.za.