Home Restaurant Profit Christmas crooks target disadvantaged families by setting up BOGUS payday loan companies

Christmas crooks target disadvantaged families by setting up BOGUS payday loan companies


Families desperate for Christmas money are cruelly torn off by bogus payday loan companies.

Victims are required to pay an upfront fee of up to £ 60 to process claims for online loans that never materialize.

They are then redirected to the web page of an authorized lending site – but the owners of the legal sites turn out to be in the dark about the deception.

It is also believed that unscrupulous sites trick “borrowers” into handing over bank details and other personal information that can be exploited or sold.

Sunday people may reveal that crooks are using clever online ads, accompanied by pictures of smiling Santas, snowmen and gifts, to lure the unwary with offers of short-term loans, offered without a check and supposedly paid on same day.

They promise cheap festive fun with tempting slogans like, “Spread the cost of Christmas – how much would you borrow?” “

Dodgy: Sites are designed to fool the unsuspecting and desperate people

In fact, many of these websites are part of a shameful global scam that tries to steal from people who are often already struggling to find money.

In one case, police had to be called to a real business address that had been used as a front for a fraudulent loan website – after angry victims showed up demanding reimbursement of their “administration fees” and ask why the loans had never been repaid. .

Debt experts believe 1.4 million Britons will take out payday loans for face the cost of Christmas.

Even when the loans are real, interest rates can be sky-high by 3000% per year.

Last night, credit industry bosses urged regulators, the Financial Conduct Authority, to investigate what it called a “plague” of dubious websites that promise easy money without checks.

Russell Hamblin-Boone, of the Consumer Finance Association, warned: “A plethora of risky Christmas-themed sites have sprung up to trick unsuspecting borrowers with loan promises that offer no protection.

“The result is people are having their money stolen by illegal lenders. “

A few clicks on Google brings up a series of authentic looking sites promoting Christmas loans at exorbitant rates.

PaydayXmas promises “fast cash” with an APR of 3,257% and asks, “How much do you need? “

The website, registered in Douglas, Isle of Man, claims to be a trademark of a licensed loan broker licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority.

An investigator sent to the broker’s registered address at an accounting office in Wanstead, east London, learned that police had been called in to check on people who were angrily complaining that they had not received loans.

The accounting firm said the scam was located at an address in Birmingham, where the money was banked and then sent to India.

Christmas loans for people with bad credit

On another loan website, Christmas Loans Poor Credit, potential clients are offered payments ranging from £ 100 to £ 1,000 and say, ‘Apply now and you can enjoy your holiday season with a total joy. “

The site adds, “Make Christmas more fun with Instant Christmas Loans. But borrowing £ 225 over 28 days will cost a total of £ 292.50, or an equivalent APR of 2,857%.

People applying are directed to a page for a Genuine Credit Broker with a registered address in Southend-on-Sea, Essex.

Another site called Spread the Cost of Christmas asks, “How much would you like to borrow?”

Applicants are directed to another site called Little Loans, a licensed credit broker whose parent company Digitonomy is based in Chester.

Digitonomy’s director Daniel Ashton insisted his company was NOT involved in Christmas payday loans.

He said: “Our products are typically loans of around £ 2,000 over two years.”

Its co-director Tim Moss added, “As far as people who borrow to pay for Christmas, it’s not something we would ever recommend. “

A “Need 12 Month Loans” site offers Christmas loans with an APR of 1,990, visitors are told, “Have fun with your loved ones this Christmas.” Elsewhere on the site, with a picture of Santa Claus and a Christmas tree, it says, “It’s the season of joy.

“If you want to make this the most celebrated Christmas and have funds in your pocket for it, then just consider applying for Christmas Payday Loans. Spend a blessed time with your loved ones without having to worry about your financial problems.

Get Christmas Loans Today

The site is linked to another company licensed by the Financial Conduct Authority whose registered business address is a store in Finchley, North London.

Another website, Get Christmas Loans, suggests that it is related to a licensed loan broker called Cash Lion, which is the trading name of the legitimate UK company Loan Machine.

Loan Machine Director Chris Burgoyne revealed that Christmas Loans website had nothing to do with his business, based in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He said, “We don’t own this site. If they have a connection to us, they shouldn’t have it and I will investigate immediately. It could be a scam.

“We had issues for years with people pretending to be us and charging us fees and charging customers fees.”

Mr Burgoyne said his business had been targeted so often that a warning was posted on the Financial Conduct Authority’s website, claiming that fraudsters generally tried to use their registered names. police officers involved.

“At the end of the day, it’s a waste of their time to bind us because we’re not going to pay them money. We try to do everything over the edge.

“We don’t have any Christmas sites at all. If people use our name, then it is very immoral.

Industry leaders believe unofficial websites, with promises of no credit checks and instant money, are all in violation of industry rules.

The Consumer Finance Association, which represents major short-term lenders, reported a series of Christmas loan websites to the regulator.

Russell Hamblin-Boone, chief executive of the Consumer Finance Association, said Google had taken down some sites.

But he added, “As soon as you take them out, others come up with different names. They are deceiving people. Our advice is simple. Never give out your contact details to a website you can’t trust.

Debt charities say no one should ever forward details to sites unless they are certain they are genuine.

But they say regulators need to do more to crack down on some practices in the high-cost sector.

Families in debt are advised to seek help from credit unions – regulated cooperatives whose members can borrow from common deposits at rates of around 12% per annum.

An estimated 1.8 million people use payday lenders, typically taking six loans a year, at £ 260 at a time.

The Money Advice Trust said: “If you are struggling to keep up with Christmas costs, the best thing to do is seek free advice from a charity like National Debtline as soon as possible. “

And new legal lenders exploit Christmas desperation

Alarms have also been raised about new legal payday lenders exploiting families desperate for Christmas.

Businesses, created because established lenders cut spending ahead of a New Year’s crackdown, charge huge interest.

“The sole purpose of the sites is to get people to apply for credit that they may not be able to afford,” said Russell Hamblin-Boone of the Consumer Finance Association.

“There is no credit check and no health risk warning. This is all against the regulations. “

Jane Tully, of the Money Advice Trust charity, said: “Lenders and credit brokers should not try to exploit the holiday season in a cynical attempt to market loans and several websites have been reported to regulators. “

Under Financial Conduct Authority rules of January 2, lenders cannot charge more than 0.8% per day of interest and fees, nor can they charge more than £ 15 in the event of borrower default. .

The FCA said it was aware of new Christmas loan websites.

Have you been the victim of a payday loan scam? Please contact us and send an email to [email protected]

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