Houses in the Highlands area of Scotland have recently been subjected to a dramatic increase in people phoning them in order to try and scam them into taking out a loan. Trading Standards have recently warned people in the local area to be aware of people calling their home without notice and asking for upfront fees in order to secure a loan.
Many of these phone calls are tending to originate from outside the UK, which makes them difficult for the authorities to tackle. Many people have been reporting these phone calls to Trading Standards and the most common scam is the caller asking for a fee of around £100 in order to arrange a loan. Unfortunately, these loans do not materialise once the borrower has paid the upfront fee and they simply lose this money.
The manager for Trading Standards in the area is Gordon Robb and he has commented, “We are particularly concerned about this scam affecting vulnerable consumers. In most cases, the person wanting to secure the loan, pays the application fee and then there application is simply continually delayed or just completely ignored.
We remind people that all companies offering loans in the country have to be registered with the Office of Fair Trading, so before you consider taking out a loan check to see whether the company is registered.”
Mr Robb continued, “The law in the UK does not allow companies who are offering loans to charge a fee for the service. Therefore, if the company phoning demands this then you should be very wary and just hang up the telephone.
Despite this, there are still laws protecting people who have paid a fee and if a loan is not paid to the consumer within six months, then they are entitled to claim all the money back that they initially paid.”