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Keeping safe from the booming online loan fraud in India

Personal loan scams are at an all-time high. The current lockdown has seen millions lose their jobs and thus, left without steady income. Many unscrupulous parties are taking advantage of the situation, preying like sharks upon the innocent. They offer unbelievably good deals on quick cash loans with high funding and low interest rates.

Now, the promise of help when in dire straits, can truly cause anyone to fall victim to these so called ‘fabulous loan offers’ that often come with a catch – you need to pay a small fee before getting the money.  Yet, those pressing bills at the door can lead anyone to fall into a trap that promises funds but ends up proving to be a fraud. You transfer the fee, thinking it is a small price to pay for the bigger reward of a much-needed loan. The moment you send the money across, the line at the other side drops; you’re blocked, and they have vanished. You have been duped with the false pretext of getting a loan. This can truly be devastating in a situation where you are already strapped for cash.

So, how do you sieve your way through the scams? How does one recognise the genuine cash loan apps / lenders from the fake? Read on for pointers to keep in mind that will protect you from the loan scamsters out there.

Never pay a fee prior to receiving the money

Loan scams dupe people by asking them to transfer a small fee prior to receiving the funds in their account. They may explain this payment as a ‘loan processing fee’ or a charge for their services. This is a clear warning sign that the lender is trying to cheat you. A genuine loan will see the lender either not charge you a fee at all or simply deduct their fee themselves from the loan proceedings. You personally should never have to send any money across.

Always look for a physical address

Before going through with a personal loan application, make sure to look up the physical address of the lender. If they do not have an address that you can find online, it is best to stay clear of any dealings with them. Remember that they can take your money and information and disappear without a trace.

Do not fall for pressure tactics

Be wary of lenders who put out urgent messages online that say their loan offers will expire soon. A genuine lender or loan app never uses such pressure tactics to force you into making a quick and hasty decision.

Be alert against phone scammers

It is unadvisable to sign up for a cash loan advertised to you over the phone by a pushy salesperson. Even if you do get such a call, ask them for the details of their company and log on to the Internet to check if it is legitimate or not. You need to inspect whether the lender has a physical address, working contact / toll-free number, and customer reviews on forums. If you find no mention online about the loan company, chances are high that they are a scam.

Steer clear of guaranteed loans

A genuine lender will never give you guaranteed quick loans. They would always want to verify your documents before transferring the funds. A lender who does not bother with verification and simply asks you to pay a small processing fee for a simple, guaranteed loan is a scamster looking to dupe you.

Do keep these points in mind when applying for a loan so that you do not get cheated in your hour of need. However, there are some credible apps too in the market that are genuinely offering loans to the ones who need it. Some of these apps in India include – RapidRupee, EarlySalary, MoneyView. So, the bottom line is that one should be cautious of the checklist stated above while seeking loans online but don’t be carried away by the negative sentiment around these frauds that you overlook the trustworthy applications.

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