Have you ever received a call with an offer to borrow money that just sounds too good to be true? But you are hurting for cash, so you check it out. You could be the victim of a personal loan scam, also known as an advanced fee loan. Not all advance-fee loans are personal loan scams, but if they are asking you for money, that is a red flag. In this article, I will help you identify how to spot personal loan scams and how to be aware of them.
Statistics On Personal Loan Scams
According to FICO’s data, which is a score ranging from 300-850, 11.7% of the population has a score of 549 or less. A score of 550 or less is considered weak.
An alternative score known as a VantageScore developed by the three major credit bureaus, which also has scores ranging from 300 to 850, has reported an average rating of 673. A score of 673 is considered fair.
I gave these statistics to help you see that the people who do the personal loan scams target those people with lower credit scores.
Credit statistics as reported by Credit Donkey stat
Is This The Answer?
When someone has financial hardships, they may be more likely to fall for one of these personal loan scams. You may need just a bit of money to get you through the next payday or help buy a car, in this case, the calls you get may sound like an answer to a prayer.
No matter how sad it is, these people are out to get your money and not to help you. A personal loan such as this will harm your credit score in the long run, and you may end up in a debt counseling program.
In the United States and Canada, it is illegal for a company to make a promise by phone stating that if you pay money upfront, you will receive a loan. The law is in effect to protect you from scams like this one.
What Do Personal Loan Scams Look Like?
In this day and age, your money doesn’t go far enough. Do you live from paycheck to paycheck and don’t have enough cash to put food on the table. Not to mention, you worry about your kiddos and how you will care for them.
There is just enough money to keep the family going, but your car breaks down. To fix it will cost more than the car is worth, which means you need a new car. Someone sends an advertisement in the mail that says you are guaranteed a loan without any questions asked. Bad credit doesn’t matter to this company and the offer comes at the perfect time.
You call the company, and they say you are eligible for a personal loan of $10,000.00. You know this will go a long way toward a used car. The company suggests you wire them $150 to cover the cost of financing. In light of your needs and the offer you scrape up the $150 and wait for further instructions.
They say for you to send them the money and they will send you documents to sign. After you wire the money, you wait for the documents, consequently they never show up. You start to get a bit worried. What happened to these people?
A personal loan scam just took you by surprise, but the sad part is the law cannot trace a wire, so the money you sent is gone, and no way to get it back. On the whole, you are further behind and more desperate.
8 Red Flag Signs Of Personal Loan Scams
1. Phone Offer For Personal Loan Scams
When a company calls and offers you a loan on the phone, it’s a red flag. As I mentioned above, this is illegal in the US and Canada.
2. An Offer Of A Low-Interest Rate
Scammers target those who are in financial trouble. When a credit score is low, the interest rate will be high, with this in mind, if the caller is offering you a low interest rate, it is clearly a red flag.
3. Requesting Money Upfront In Personal Loan Scams
If a company requests upfront money, it is a scam. A reputable and honest company will take the fees out of the loan amount, therefore you will are not required to pay cash out of pocket.
4. Promise A Loan Without A Credit Check
Reputable lenders require a credit check before lending you money. If they offer you a loan without a credit check, it is a red flag.
5. Pressure Sale
The company expects you to make a decision immediately. You request time to research the company online, and the company tells you the loan offer will not be available after you hang up the phone—just another clear red flag.
6. A Promise Of Unsecured Email Contracts
A reputable company will require documents sent by secure data transmission. A pledge of unsecured data is a red flag.
7. Name Very Similar To A Larger Company
The company name sounds familiar but closely imitates a larger company.
8. Wire Transfer
The caller requires you to send them a wire transfer to cover the cost of handling. A wire transfer is not traceable, which is another red flag. A reputable company will not request money.
Remember the saying, “if it is too good to be true, then it is.” Follow your instincts and watch out for the scammer who will take your money and run. A personal loan scam is just one type of fraud. Please observe these eight signs. If you see only one sign, it is a red flag. It is hard when there is not enough money, but falling for a scam like this will worsen your financial situation.
Times are hard, especially now with so many out of work or filing for unemployment. Loan scams are on the rise and can wear many different faces. One such front is the amazon scam. One thing to remember is: if they call on the phone and will not send you a letter, then it is a scam.
Have you had an experience with a phone scam or loan scam? We would love to hear your story. Please leave comments and questions in the comment section below.
11 thoughts on “Personal Loan Scams Or Advanced Fee Loans-Be Aware”
I have gotten offers via snail mail that has appeared to be too good to be true, but I always throw them away. I know that my score isn’t great and have been working towards repairing it.
I guess I was unaware that there were so many scammers out there preying on people who are just hard working folks trying to make ends meet. It is very helpful to have sites like this one to help us regular people understand just what is really going on.
Thank you for taking the time and effort to post this, it is very informative.
Hi Frank, In today’s economy it is difficult to have a good credit score and then a scammer comes along and makes it all worse.
I am so happy I can make you more aware of this type of situation. Thank you for your comment and compliment of “very informative.” I appreciate you.
There are a lot of persons out there claiming to give you a loan with no hassle, but you have to be careful as you might end up wasting your time and money. If it seems too good to be true, then it is. It’s easy to get caught in this trap when your back is against the wall.
I have lost money this way already and I have learnt my lesson well. Sometimes we end up paying for trying to seek an easy way out.
This was really helpful.
Brenda, so many people have lost money this way. It is sad. Please do be careful in the future. And feel free to share this with anyone who may need to be informed.
Hi Laura. Thank you for sharing this awesome information how we can spot a personal loan scam. I have discovered these days that scammers will tend to pressure you as you have said. Not giving you time to do your own research. This article is informative plus I like the way you structure things… 🙂
Thank you very much. Yes pressure is a strong gimmick for a scammer to get what they want.
Yes a lot of scams online promising loans. There are more of them coming up these days.
I cannot imagine that a company or whatever they may call themselves will request for financial payment upfront before they offer you personal loan, that is the number of sign that you need to run for your life. One needs to follow his or her instinct.
Yes a person does need to follow their instincts. I hope these signs will reach the world so more will have an idea of what the red flags are.
Thank you for this article and building awareness around this scam.
This is so sad to read that these things are going on.
The first red flag that should send off many alarm bells is when the so called loan company asks you to send them money.
You have raised very good points to be aware of if someone finds that they need to contact a loan company.
I will be sharing this article to help build the awareness on the good work you have started. This is a need to know.
Jennifer, thank you for sharing this article. I do want more people to be aware of the red flags.
I must thank you for this article Laura. I had experience with this type of scam in the past and I can say that it is terrible. When people hear what money they can get, they often run to pick that money but don’y know that consequences are very big. I am happy that there are posts like this because people should pay more attention when it comes to this types of loan.
I am so sorry you had to go through this. It can happen to anyone. But now you know what to look for.