While the internet has linked us to more information than ever before, it has triggered different scams and frauds of all sorts. Ranging from phishing of financial accounts, passwords, and social media postings. Hence, scammers have many ways to get through on people’s money. They mostly contact their victims via email, loan applications, the internet and contacts.
However, in loan scams or fraud, they usually gain the borrower’s trust and then scam the individual. In all these, you can protect yourself, family and friends, by knowing how you can identify loan scams. Reading through this article, you will discover the meaning of loan scams, types and how to identify them in Ghana.
How to identify loan scams and fraudsters in Ghana
While deciding on the loan to source for, it is wise to be careful in order not to fall into the wrong hands. Some private loan lenders in Ghana are involved in loan fraud. You can identify them through:
1. Phishing scam
This can come as a bank SMS, after receiving a new SMS from your bank. Always look at it closely. This may appear an enticing encouragement to apply for a loan with the financial institution.
2. Online loan shopping scam
Probably you have been thinking about getting a personal loan, then you see an ad on social media for a website that offers such with very low interest. Upon clicking on the ad, it will immediately take you to their website, where you register online.
3. Classified loan scam
This is when they classify the loan application website. They usually use an ad to refer people to the website. Only seeing their website will let you know they do not have an association membership.
4. Not licenced by the Bank of Ghana
Another way to identify a loan scam is when the financial institution offering the loan does not have a licence from the Bank of Ghana. You can get this information through research or enquiries.
5. Email compromise scam
After applying for an online loan the lender sends you an email requiring you to pay some charges before they disburse your loan. They usually encourage you to pay within a specific period to make your loan application still valid. Scammers can make messages look real.
6. Requiring sensitive information during loan application
When a lender asks you to input delicate information like your account details, credit card number and password during application. It has a malicious link. As such, your bank details are not secure, as scammers can retrieve your information from there.
7. It has a sense of urgency
Loan scams usually create a sense of urgency. It is advisable not to rush your application with the lender. You need to take time to think about what their approval message is telling you to do and consider whether it is real.
Who is most likely at risk for a loan scam?
Loan scammers in Ghana mostly target people who may have trouble getting a loan through conventional means or unsuspecting individuals. Also, borrowers with heavy debt, people with bad credit, private workers and the elderly are more susceptible. This is because scammers may claim to offer products that these sets of borrowers desperately need. For example, no-credit-check loans may be attractive to borrowers with poor credit. The reason is that bad credit loans from reputable lenders in Ghana may come with high-interest rates. Hence, these borrowers cannot afford such.
When you fall into a high-risk bracket, it is important to stay alert about any loan company. Especially those that advertise a loan product that seems too good to be true for your needs. If you doubt the lender, verify whether the Bank of Ghana licenced them.
Signs to identify loan scams and fraudsters in Ghana
You need to note the following red lights when you are seeking a loan. They include:
- When the lender does not require your payment history.
- No licence.
- The lender asks for your credit card.
- The website is not secure.
- No head office or branch office.
- Pressures you to respond immediately.
- The lender guaranteed approval without asking you for any documents.
- When they are not specific and transparent with their charges.
What to do when you are a loan scam victim
While no one wants to admit to being a victim of a scam or fraud, it happens. There are several steps you can take, beginning with laying off all communication with the company in question. Even if they are sending hostile and threatening messages from them. Provide documentation details of the process. Contact the local law enforcement by filling out a police report.
Also, talk about it with family and friends to help others stay informed.
How to spot a legitimate loan company in Ghana
When you have below the average credit they require, there are many companies that offer legitimate loans in Ghana. When looking for a good lender, start with these steps:
- Check for the lender’s contact information, for instance, phone number, physical address, email address and physical address. This information should be on their website, even if it’s only an online lender.
- Always investigate online reviews, as this will help you get information about some loan companies and lenders.
- Make sure they register the loan company. Legitimate lenders must register with the Bank of Ghana before giving out loans. If you are not sure of the lender, you can contact the state’s attorney general.
- Also, you need to research and compare multiple lenders in Ghana to make sure you are getting a better rate from a trusted source.
Regarding the increasing number of loan scams and fraud, you need to be very careful with lenders. Always research properly on a particular lender before applying for a loan. Note these red lights mentioned in this article to avoid loan scams and fraud. However, when applying for a loan, never input your account details that may implicate you. Thorough enquiries will help you not to fall victim to fraudsters and scammers in Ghana.