Payday loans in the US are a hugely predatory industry, and now the landscape is getting worse as scammers pose as popular lenders try to scam people.
A new report from the Better Business Bureau on these scammers highlighted the story of Shirleywho “received a call from a woman who said her name was”Lawrence Green.Lauren told Shirley that she “qualified for a $5,000 loan from the West Point lenders” but that shehad to do was pay $535 as a feebefore the money is deposited into their account. Then Green again said that “another $535 was needed because his credit wasn’t good enough.” However, once Shirley handed over the $1,070, Lauren disappeared with Shirley’s money, and when she went to search, she discovered that the company was fake and that her information had been stolen.
To be fowarding something…
Many scammers use names close to major payday lenders to work on the notoriety of some of these companies. The BBB has warned that fraudsters posing as debt collectors can also use the same tactics to “make their threats more serious”.
How many payday lender scams have been reported this year?
While the total number of scam attempts reported to the BBB has gone down, the amount that has been taken from those defrauded has increased over the years:
These figures should be taken with caution since the BBB estimates that only about ten percent of fraud cases of this nature are reported to the organization – meaning that the extent of the problem is much bigger than these numbers represent.
The federal government should take notice of people’s willingness to engage in the scam, as many have reported falling for the trap because “they were already in debt due to payday loans.” After being scammed, some victims also reported: “months behind on rents and other bills, due to the financial consequences of these scams.”
A general warning for those interested in a payday loan
Payday lenders are one of the least regulated aspects of financial services. The BBB reported that their scam trackers show “that despite efforts across the country to limit the power of payday loan companies, many Americans are still trappedin debt cycles after taking out any of these loans. These agencies use complicated formulas to hide high interest rates applied to loans of up to more than four hundred percent. BBB researchers shared the story of Wanda, a senior in Georgia who took out a $1,000 payday loan to build her credit.
“Buried behind all the fees and paperwork, his real interest rate was almost 450%. She quickly regretted the decisionreads the report, noting that these companies often take advantage of older people. “They bill you every two weeks, and that’s about $400.00 to $600.00 per month to repay such a small amountt,” Wanda said, addressing the report’s authors.