Australian Securities and Investment Commission is warning people about a lending scam after hearing from victims who have lost thousands of dollars.
ASIC has received reports of borrowers sending more than $33,000 over wire services after being scammed.
The borrowers were told before a loan can be advanced they must forward money for insurance, tax or other payments to a specified personal account or transfer money to an overseas account using Western Union or similar wire services.
However, after the borrowers make these payments, they never receive the loan.
The scammers, who are believed to be operating from overseas, appear to have hacked the legitimate websites of some small lenders to target consumers.
They have also set up fake websites and internet banner adverts offering fake loans. The fake loan contracts look like legitimate contracts, but are often made in the name of an unregistered business or a company the scammers do not represent.
Borrowers are misled by identifiers belonging to genuine licensees, such as Australian credit licence numbers and company numbers.
ASIC deputy chairman Peter Kell warns borrowers should never send any upfront payments before receiving the loan.
“Legitimate lenders who are authorised under the credit laws in Australia will collect upfront costs out of the loan disbursements when the loan is advanced, in accordance with the terms of the loan contract. They never ask you to transfer money to a third party or an overseas account before a loan is drawn down.
“ASIC urges anyone who needs to borrow money to be mindful of these scams. Never deal with anyone you cannot reach through publicly available contact details. Do not respond to any requests to send money before receiving the loan or you risk suffering significant financial loss,” he said.
Do you have more than $200k in your super fund? You could use your super to buy property - Find out how
Top Suburbs :
Get help financing your investment
Do you need help finding the right loan for your investment?
When investing in property, it is important to make sure that you not only have the lowest available rate that you can get, but also have the correct loan features for your needs.
Just fill in a few details below and we'll then arrange for a local expert Aussie Mortgage Broker to contact you and work out what features or types of loans are right for your needs. We'll even help with the paperwork. Plus, our mortgage broking service is at no cost to you.
We value your privacy and treat all your information seriously - you can check out