You know what they say, “it only takes one bad apple to ruin the bunch.” Well, we are fully aware that there are scams and fraudulent companies that focus on the payday loan industry and its customers. Since we’re one of the good guys, we feel it’s our job to teach our customers and everyone else how to identify and act upon fraudulent activity to protect yourself and your online identity.
First things first, it is significantly easier for fraudsters to trick consumers and steal information online. Why? Because there is zero face-to-face contact and the going rate for creating a website is a WordPress or Squarespace account. When online auditors turn off one website, fraudsters can have a new website up and running in a number of hours.
So, what can you do to protect your online identity from falling victim to a fraudster? Read further and share with loved ones.
Differentiating the “good” from “bad”
Shopping online for a payday loan usually starts with a Google search for “online payday loan” or “get fast cash online”. Either one of these searches will pull up a multitude of short-term lenders in your area. So, how do you know which companies are legitimate and which ones are not?
To legally loan to consumers, a lender must have a license from each state in which they do business. Companies that are licensed aren’t shy about this fact. When looking a website, take note if they have “State-Licensed Lender” icons or information on display.
Loaning with a direct lender is in your best interest. Giving your information to indirect lenders means that your information is being sold to the highest bidder. Cut out the middle man by going directly to a Direct Lender.
Direct Lender means that you are dealing directly with the company that is loaning you the money from application to repayment. Consumers can rest easy knowing their information isn’t going anywhere and all personal information is being kept safe. For more information on why you should choose a direct lender, read this blog article. https://netpayadvance.com/What_are_Direct_Lenders
Ability to contact
Legitimate companies will have a phone number, email address or chat ability (or all the above) that customers can use to reach out to a customer service center. Since fraudulent companies aren’t real, they won’t have any of these options since there isn’t a customer service center to contract.
On the off chance that there is contact information, if the representative is unable to give information on the company’s rates and terms or loan information such as licenses, that should raise a red flag.
Read up on reviews of any lender you consider. Reviews will tell you a lot about a company. You can see what a company is doing well, and where it can improve. It will show you how a business handles complaints or upset customers. You might even be able to determine if customers have common complaints. If there’s just one or two reviews, that could be a red flag. You want to work with a lender that helps real people. At Net Pay Advance, we have over 7,000+ customer reviews, and even more on Google and Facebook .
Recognizing debt/loan scams
Another practice commonly executed by fraudsters is unsolicited communications demanding payment for a loan of which you don’t have any knowledge. These communications can come in many forms but are most often a phone call from an unrecognized number.
Should you receive one of these calls or emails, here are a few things that you should identify as red flags.
- Caller is overly aggressive or rude
- Caller demands immediate repayment and creates a sense of urgency
- Caller threatens violence, criminal and/or legal action
- Caller refuses to give details of account and/or loan history
- Email comes from a personal email account; such as, Gmail, AOL, or Outlook
- Message contains false case numbers and outstanding amounts
- Message threatens to contact current employer and/or confiscate wages
Loan scams act differently as this is a fraudulent company that is falsely impersonating a legitimate loan company. Since you aren’t familiar with every person from every loan company, it is easier to fall victim to this scam. Often, the fraudster will ask for up-front payment to acquire a loan or to be considered for a loan. Here are a few things you should be on the lookout for to identify loan scams.
- Fraudster asks for payment in advance, typically claiming that a “fee” or “taxes” must be prepaid
- Fraudster requires funds to be loaded onto prepaid card, requires the purchase of money orders or requires funds to be sent via MoneyGram or Western Union
- Fraudster sends you fraudulent loan documents when you have not applied for a loan
- Fraudster is aggressive or rude and creates sense of urgency by saying this is a “limited offer”
Keep in mind, Net Pay Advance will NEVER ask for up-front payment to be considered for a loan. If you fall victim to a debt/loan scam or are contacted by a fraudster trying to make you a victim, we encourage you to report it to the authorities. For more information and to stay up-to-date on how to protect yourself from debt/loan scams, head to our Security Center.
In conclusion, fraudsters are out there and looking for anyway to steal information to make a quick dollar. Protect yourself so that you do not become a victim! If you know someone that is thinking about getting a payday loan, refer them to a payday lender that you trust.
Net Pay Advance offers a referral program that pays you to refer others to us. If we all team together to protect one another against criminals, we can work towards making online payday loans safer. Find information on our referral program by clicking this link.