Don’t fall victim to a loan scam artist

We pride ourselves on getting you a darn good home loan. So if someone calls up out of the blue with suspicious promises of a better offer, here’s how to know if you’re being scammed.

Scams are becoming more and more sophisticated. In fact, Australians lost $91 million to scammers last year alone, with advanced fee, investment and business opportunity scams making up the bulk of that figure.

That’s $250,000 every day.

With Scams Awareness Week running from May 21-25, now’s a better time than ever to look at some of the scams that are parting Australians from their hard earned money.

Loan scams

There is no shortage of scammers out there offering fake loans, especially in Australia where people are just itching to crack into the property market.

Warning bells should start ringing if someone hassles you to pay money upfront. That’s because legitimate lenders and brokers like ourselves generally don’t ask you to do this.

In recent years scammers have got this down to a fine art – victims are provided with authentic-looking fake loan contracts with Australian credit licence numbers belonging to unrelated businesses. Scammers also pretend they’re in Australia with re-routed phone numbers.

They then tell the victims they must pay insurance or fees of up to $5400 upfront into an Australian bank account.

However, legitimate lenders who are authorised under Australian credit laws will generally not request that fees are paid upfront because establishment costs are usually included in the loan and repaid over time.

“If you are asked to contribute fees or insurance costs before you are advanced any money under the loan, you should treat the proposed transaction with a great deal of suspicion. This is a classic warning sign of a scam,” says ASIC Deputy Chairman Peter Kell.

So, if you ever receive a call or email along these lines, take it with a very large grain of salt.

Better yet, ask us to look into it. We can let you know if it’s legitimate or not.

Here are five more scams to watch out for according to Scamwatch

Threats to life, arrest or other. This scam involves demands to pay money that you supposedly owe and threats if you don’t cooperate.

Remote access scams. Scammers try to convince you that you have a computer or internet problem and that you need to buy new software to fix it.

Phishing. Phishing scams are attempts by scammers to trick you into giving out your personal information. This can include your bank account numbers, passwords and credit card numbers.

Identity theft. Identity theft is a type of fraud that involves using someone else’s identity to steal money or gain other benefits.

False billing. False billing scams request you to pay fake invoices for things that you did not order.

Final tips

Scammers often use psychological tricks to part with your money. Some may offer you a gift or help so that you feel obligated to return the favour.

They also know that most people find it hard to say no to friends, so they’ll try and build a strong rapport with you first.

If you ever have suspicions that you’re getting scammed, don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’d be more than happy to look into the situation to help you protect your wealth.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is general in nature and is presented for informative purposes. It is not intended to constitute financial advice, whether general or personal nor is it intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product. It does not take into consideration your personal situation and may not be relevant to circumstances. Before taking any action, consider your own particular circumstances and seek professional advice. This content is protected by copyright laws and various other intellectual property laws. It is not to be modified, reproduced or republished without prior written consent.

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