In credit fraud, so-called lenders attract consumers with advertisements of credit offered on very favourable terms.
The application procedure for such credit is very simple: all the consumer has to do is pay a given amount in advance. This amount is – supposedly – necessary to cover certain costs. The fraudsters mention dossier fees, legalization costs, administrative charges or the cost of purchasing payment protection insurance.
Once the consumer has paid the requested amount, the fake lender disappears and the victim is never able to recover his or her money.
Do you suspect that the offer being made to you may be fraudulent?
Have you been the victim of investment or credit fraud and you don’t know what to do?
If so, please contact the FSMA directly.
Don’t fall into the trap, follow our recommendations!
Always check the identity of the person or company contacting you (have you checked the name, registered office, home country, contact details and whether it holds an authorization to make you this type of offer?).If you cannot clearly establish the company’s identity, it should not be trusted. If the company is based outside the European Union, you should be aware of the difficulty of legal recourse in the event of a dispute.
Be wary as well of ‘cloned firms’.These are companies that pass themselves off as different, lawful companies even though they in fact have no connection with the latter. A close look at the email addresses or contact details for the companies in question may prove useful in order to detect potential fraud of this sort.
Be wary if you receive an unsolicited credit offer via the internet or via social media.
Be wary if the person or firm contacting you uses an email address that ends in @hotmail.com, @gmail.com or @outlook.com, for example.Authorized lenders in principle use a professional email address.
Be suspicious of any offers of credit on particularly favourable terms (a loan that is very large in relation to the consumer’s financial situation, at an extremely low interest rate, with an unusually long repayment period, etc.), especially if authorized lenders would not generally grant such loans under those conditions.
Be sceptical if the lender makes the granting of credit subject to the payment of a sum of money supposedly to cover certain costs.Various reasons may be invoked to justify this advance payment: your contact person will explain that this is an insurance premium covering the lender against the risk of default on the loan, legalization costs, administrative fees, etc. These fees are purely fictitious. Once the amount has been paid, the ‘lender’ disappears and the victim never succeeds in recovering the money.
Be wary if your contact person asks you to pay the amount indicated via a so-called ‘cash transfer’, which is an international money transfer in cash.This payment method means that the recipient of the funds cannot be traced. In this way, the fraudsters elude detection.