A recent news release issued by the Law Ministry warned that victims have lost about $110,000 since September 2019 in a new twist of a loan scam.
The latest instances of these scam activities involved individuals who pretended to be officers from the Monetary Authority of Singapore or MinLaw. There are more than 20 police reports of people who were victims of such scam activities.
According to the victims who reported the issue to the enforcement authorities, they were contacted by someone after they sent a reply to unsolicited messages advertising loan offers. Then they received PDF documents that required them to make payments to the MAS or MinLaw or even both. They were to deposit about 7% of the services tax to get their loans approved.
The scammers’ intentions, according to the police, were to fool the unsuspecting victims into believing they responded to messages from licensed money lenders. In some cases, some victims got PDF documents informing them that their loan applications had been approved. This was to trick them and make them believe that the entire process was legit.
Victims who hesitated to make the payments were harassed by the scammers who argued that the requested loans had already been approved, and there would be more fees involved if the requests were to be cancelled.
The police issued a warning to the public that licensed money lenders don’t send unsolicited messages and calls to people. So, if you have been receiving such messages, there is a good chance you are being scammed. It is also in your best interest to verify the identity and other important details of a money lender in their office. And remember, a licensed money lender will not ask you to make payments unless your loan has been disbursed.