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How to identify fraudulent online lenders
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How to identify fraudulent online lenders

Emotions can be high when you need cash urgently

Scammers have never been so prevalent and successful. They are everywhere and target everyone; irrespective of your age or gender, you are a target. Therefore, you cannot afford to lose your guard. Unfortunately, these financial criminals work on their victims’ emotions, preying on you where and when you least expect it. It’s strange to think fraudsters would set up online lender platforms. As impossible as it may seem, they really go that far – these guys would not stop at anything to hit their targets.
Most times, when we have an urgent need for cash, we get emotional and would easily jump at bait from a scammer, who offers a loan, without thinking through the validity of the loan. The bait can work on anyone, but more often it works on first time borrowers, who are applying for a loan for the first time or whose loan applications have never been approved. There are multiple channels through which loan scammers can use to manipulate their victims into giving out personal information or getting them to send funds.

Know the red flags

Whilst there are many schemes that loan scammers use, let’s go through a few of the most common red flags. First, avoid any lender that requires you to pay some sort of upfront fees by sending money to them before you can be granted a loan, even when such lender calls it processing fees – don’t fall for the bait. Yes, some lenders may charge upfront processing fees, but reputable lenders would rather deduct the fees from the loan amount before disbursing the loan to you. If you send the processing or upfront fees to the scammer, the transaction is over – that’s their interest, at best you would get a “sorry, your loan is declined” feedback.
Another and the more common scheme are for loan scammers to extract personal information from you, including asking you to provide bank details, ATM numbers as well as the CVV and Personal Identification Number (PIN). Whilst some genuine lenders would ask for your Bank Verification Number and Account details (name, bank, and account number) to ensure effective documentation and disbursement of the loan, scammers would want your PIN amongst other account details personal to you. Never fall prey to such bait because no credible lender would ask you to provide your ATM card details and PIN – this is clear fraud. Once you provide such personal information, your bank account has been compromised and within minutes, you may notice unauthorized transactions carried out on your bank account.

Don’t be a victim

Interestingly, some scammers can appear smart by disbursing a loan to you but guess what, they would only box you into onerous terms that would turn you into their prey, especially when you collateralise the loan with a valuable asset. These types of scammers are only interested in taking over your assets. Knowing that we are always in a hurry and don’t like to fill in forms, scammers would tell you to only sign and fill a few lines in their application forms, whilst they complete the rest for you. Some would never give you a copy of the loan offer and in fact, some would complete the entire transaction on the phone; don’t be a victim. Never fall for their pranks.
Ensure you read the terms and agreements from any provider very well, to be sure there are no hidden charges and/or unclear policies. Be wary of any lender that guarantees your approval without showing interest in knowing your ability to pay back the loan. Be cautious when a lender encourages you to falsify your information. It’s a red flag when the agent of a lender keeps soliciting that you should apply for a loan even when you do not need it.
In general, it’s safer to borrow from a lender that is already profiled by a reputable third party, such as nairaCompare.ng, as this gives you some comfort that the lender is likely to be credible. More often, profiled lenders on nairaCompare.ng are also regulated and/or licensed as lenders either by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) or the State Government.
Beware, scammers are out there, and you can avoid them, you only need to take relevant precautions with nairaCompare.ng as your preferred companion.

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