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Loan Scams In Singapore: The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Yourselves

Loan Scams In Singapore_ The Ultimate Guide To Protecting Yourself (2)

Loan Scam Text Message Sample Android Lending Bee Shares

Do such messages look familiar? 

Did you know that from January to March 2020, a total of $1.6 million was lost to loan scams?

Loan scams are listed in the top 3 scams of 2020, coming just behind E-Commerce and Social Media Impersonation Scams. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE: There have been many unlicensed lenders / scam syndicates that have impersonated Lending Bee and preyed on unsuspecting victims.

These are in the form of:

  • Facebook advertisements/pages
  • SMSes claiming to be from Lending Bee
  • Paid Google advertisements about Lending Bee loans
  • Repurposing Lending Bee’s website content onto their own bogus site
 

Sometimes, these unlicensed moneylenders / scam syndicates can be incredibly convincing in their acts. They’ve upgraded their technology and improved their skills. It is common to see them copying our website and content.

Hence, it can be tough to discern between licensed and unlicensed moneylenders.

To ensure that you do not get exploited by their underhand tactics, here are the steps that you should take:

  • Call Lending Bee @ 6219-1611 to ascertain if you have been contacted by any of our staff
  • Do not readily provide any personal information (NRIC, SingPass details, Bank account number, etc.)

Q&A On Loan Scams In Singapore

If the loan is promoted via SMs, it is a scam. If the loan is promoted on Facebook, it is a scam. 

In the event that you receive or come across such messages or advertisements, the best thing to do is to:

  • Ignore the message and advertisements for loan services that you receive either though SMS, Whatsapp or other messaging platforms. DO NOT REPLY and engage with them.
  • Block and report the number on the platform that you received the message.
  • If you wish to report the number to prevent more victims from happening, you can report it to the police by calling ‘999’, or the X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664.
  • If you require additional financial help from licensed moneylenders, do check out the Ministry of Law’s list of licensed moneylenders or apply for a loan with Lending Bee here.

Loan scammers impersonate themselves as licensed moneylenders claiming to provide loan services to victims. They reach victims via SMSes or Whatsapp messages, offering loan services under the pretense of licensed moneylenders. 

They will then ask victims to transfer some money first as a deposit before they can get their loan approved. 

In the end, not only do victims not receive a loan, they end up losing their hard-earned money as well. 

Throughout the scam, these scammers might ask for personal information such as your NRIC, address, SingPass details, bank account number and more. Once they’ve gotten hold of these details, they often use it to threaten or harass victims for money. 

It is easy to identify the signs of a loan scam. 

Signs of a loan scam you should look out for: 

  • Claims on instant loan approvals.
  • Ads that reach you through SMSes, messaging platforms and social media channels. 
  • Cold calls offering loans.
  • Requests for fees. A licensed moneylender will NEVER ask loan applicants to make any payment before getting a loan approval or a loan disbursement. They will never ask for “GST”, “admin fees”, “processing fees”, “wrong transaction fees” or any form of fees. Fees are only charged after the loan is granted but usually deducted from the principal loan amount disbursed. 
  • Scammers will call using personal/mobile numbers that starts with 8 or 9 (+65 8xxx xxx or +65 9xxx xxxx). Licensed moneylenders will only call from a registered landline that begins with 6 (+65 6xxx xxxx).

Loan scams are becoming more common in Singapore. Here are real-life stories shared by victims who hope to prevent others from becoming like them. 

Example 1: Website moneylender that turned out to be a loan scammer, losing more than $2,500

Read the story here

Example 2: Victim asked to pay for collateral fees and GST before “loan approval”

Read the story here  

Example 3: Moneylender advertisement on Facebook, scammed $11k

Read the story here

Example 4: Losing more than $20k to a loan scam 

Read the story here 

Example 5: Responded to SMS loan scam and lost $3,000

Read the story here

You can read more real-life stories here.  

All licensed moneylenders in Singapore have been approved by the Ministry of Law and have received a certificate from them. 

Step 1: Check for the moneylender’s name against this official list. Download the PDF file that is updated frequently. 

Step 2: Call the licensed moneylender’s landline number to verify if they are genuine licensed moneylenders. You can view the list of valid phone numbers here.

Note: Never give out your personal information easily! Unlicensed moneylenders often use the details to threaten victims. Licensed moneylenders will not contact borrowers using personal mobile numbers (e.g. +65 9XXX XXXX or +65 8XXX XXXX).

Step 3: Visit the moneylender’s physical shop to get your loan. Only licensed moneylenders are permitted to operate a physical premise in Singapore. A face to face interview at the physical office has to be conducted for loan disbursements. No online loans/contracts are allowed.

In the unfortunate situation where you’ve met with a loan scam, you should make a police report.

You can reach out to the following channels for help. 

Via phone calls: 

  • The Police: 999 or 1800-255-0000
  • X-Ah Long hotline: 1800-924-5664 

To submit online: