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How To Identify Illegal Moneylenders In Singapore?

We always tend to look for alternatives when it comes to loaning money. Usually, we opt to borrow from moneylenders. There are many institutions in Singapore that you can go to loan money. However, not all are what you can say legit. Let us continue to read and find the tell-tale signs of illegal moneylenders.


Identify Illegal Moneylenders

Sending SMS Or Performing Telemarketing Services

Sending SMS is one way of doing great advertising, however, when it comes to loan services, it will appear like a spam service. Moneylenders, in fact, are not allowed to advertise their services in the form of SMS or Telemarketing, as per the IPTO rules and Privacy Acts. Once caught, they will be punished accordingly by the government.



Here are some identifiers that will tell you that the SMS you are receiving came from illegal moneylenders:

• They will copy the writing style of SMS that the bank will send you and will add their number at the end.
• They resort to using the names of the real moneylenders and tricked potential borrowers into thinking that they are the real deal and will bait you to borrow from them.

Hence, there is a strong emphasis that genuine moneylenders do not send any SMS and if you receive one, do not answer their call or reply at all.


Illegal Moneylenders Charges Above Market Interests

All licensed moneylenders are required to follow Singapore’s guidelines on interest rates. If a moneylender will charge you a high-interest rate, then it is not a legal one. Some illegal moneylenders will charge you more than the 4% maximum interest rate.

Watch Out for Words and Actions

Illegal moneylenders or loan sharks tend to use abusive and threatening words. The initial meeting will not usually show the real color of the lender’s attitude towards you. They will try to sweet talk you and may show desperate moves so that you will just borrow money from them. In contrast, a legal money lender will show you a professional image.

Illegal Moneylenders Do Online Bank Transfers

If the money lenders tell you that they can do instant bank transfers or advance cash via your bank account, these are unlawful money lenders asking you to do it to avoid any detections or the required paperwork to be done.
Legal moneylenders will always ask you to visit their office so that you will be given the required paperwork and charges. It is also a form of verification on both parties, and further processing is to be done to facilitate the loan application. So if the moneylender offers you bank transfers, do not take the offer.


Illegal Moneylenders

Tips To Make Sure That The Moneylender Is Legal

We have tackled the critical factors to know that the moneylender is illegal. Now, here are some tips to check the legitimacy or to make sure that the moneylender is legal.

• Always research your money lender. Check first the IPTO website to see if the moneylender is a licensed body. Check as well if they have a valid license number on their site or their retail front shop.

• Never disclose your singpass details over the phone. Singapore’s login through SingPass contains a significant amount of information about a person. It is imperative that you do not divulge your Singpass details to a third-party over the phone.

• No need to provide income documents or meet face to face. Legal money lenders, in most cases, will require borrowers to come down to collect their money face-to-face. This is part of the IPTO regulation to ensure that the proper paperwork and advice is done by the borrower before loans are issued out to the borrower.

• A legal moneylender is registered with the Ministry of Law. To identify a legitimate moneylender is to check with the Registry of Moneylenders. It is one of the most straightforward ways to make sure that they are legit.

• Do not sign blindly. Licensed moneylenders will draft a written contract in a language that the customer understands. They must explain the terms and conditions so that the borrower will know what they are signing. The terms and conditions should also be online with the regulations found in the IPTO website.

Conclusion

Always be smart when you choose to which institution you will borrow. Do thorough research and ask trusted people around you. Check with the Ministry of Law to make sure that they are on the list of licensed institutions. There are many loan sharks out there ready to trap you, always be aware and think first before acting.

About Author:

Dona DimaculanganDona Dimaculangan
Dona Dimaculangan

Dona Dimaculangan is a Digital Marketing Strategist and content writer from Singapore.

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