According to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), around 12 million people in Britain are likely to struggle with bills and loan repayments following Coronavirus. Unfortunately, criminals are likely to target those in a vulnerable financial and emotional state with cyber attacks.
Loan fee fraud is where criminals offer people who are searching for loans online what seems like a good deal. However, they may ask for an upfront payment and then never provide the loan they promised.
Considering the average fee relating to loan fee fraud reported to the FCA is £220.75*, falling for a scam could be a further blow to those who are already finding these times difficult.
How can you spot this kind of scam?
The FCA recommend a quick three-step check to help protect yourself from loan fee fraud:
· If you’re asked to pay an upfront fee, it could be a scam.
· If you’re asked to pay quickly, it could be a scam.
· If you’re asked to pay in an unusual way, such as vouchers or money transfer, it could be a scam.
Before taking out a loan, it is a good idea to check the FCA’s Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk/firms/financial-services-register to make sure the provider you are considering is trustworthy.
With colleagues, friends and family struggling to make ends meet because of redundancy, pay cuts or furlough during the pandemic, we must help each other be vigilant when turning to financial back-up plans. Please consider sharing this blog with your contacts.
For the latest guidance on how to stay cyber safe, consider signing up to our FREE core membership package at www.nebrcentre.co.uk/membership
* (October 2019 -October 2020). Source: FCA