Payday loans scams of varying types are on the increase, due to the confluence of demand for quick borrowing during the recession and a readily available source of online lenders.
PaydayLoansOnline.net only features lenders that are reputable and in strict compliance with all state and federal laws on lending and responsible borrowing guidelines. However, all consumers should be aware of the murkier side of the industry in order to stay in the clear. By using our site for loan comparison and following our guide on avoiding payday loan scams, consumers can empower themselves with knowledge and learn how to spot a good lender from bad.
Recent Payday Loan Scams
1) Threatening phone call from phony office: News First Five initially reported about a Colorado payday loan borrower (not from one of the companies featured by PaydayLoansOnline) who received a phone call from the fictitious “American Department of Law and Investigation,” threatening to take the borrower to court for missed payments, although the borrower was actually up-to-date with all repayments
2) FBI , law firm or lender telephone collection scam: The FBI reported a scam where a caller poses as an FBI representative from the fake “Federal Legislative Department” and claims that the victim has missed a payday loan repayment that they must pay or face legal consequences. In other versions of the scam, the caller claims to be from various law firms or collecting on behalf of legitimate companies and demand payment and documentation.
3) Fake warrant scam: The Internet Crime Complain Center (IC3) reported a variation of the above scam in which the caller tells the victim that there are outstanding warrants for the victim’s arrest. The caller claims that the warrant is for non-payment of a payday loan and/or hacking. If it’s for hacking, the caller tells the victim that he or she is wanted for hacking into a business’ computer system to steal customer information. The caller will then demand payment via debit or credit card or demands that the victim obtains a prepaid credit card with which to make the payment.
4) Telephony Denial of Service attack scam: The Examiner also report of scammers using coercion techniques and Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks against victims’ employers—some of which have been emergency service agencies. These TDoS attacks work by have tying up the emergency services’ phone lines so that they cannot respond to calls for help.
5) Spoofing call scam: Another tactic is “spoofing,” which is where a phone call is placed from a different number than the one that appears to be calling. The IC3 tells that scammers have started spoofing police departments’ phone numbers when calling to convince victims of their impending arrest for non-payment of payday loans. In order to ensure that law enforcement show up to the victim’s door, scammers will place repeated, harassing phone calls to local police departments while spoofing victims’ phone numbers.
What to do if you receive a payday loan scam telephone call
- Do not give any details or make any payments over the phone. These scams operate solely to fraudulently receive payment from you or obtain your card and bank details.
- If you have received a legitimate loan and want to verify that you do not have any outstanding obligation, contact the lender directly;
- Remember that borrowing is a civil matter; it is not governed by criminal law so any threats about warrants are totally baseless.
- Contact your local law enforcement agencies if you feel you are in immediate danger;
- Contact your bank and credit card companies to report the possibility of fraud;
- Contact the three major credit bureaus’ fraud centers and request an alert be put on your file. (Experian Fraud Center, Equifax Fraud Alert online for 90 days and TransUnion Fraud Alert is also online).
- File a complaint with the Internet Crime Complaints Center at www.IC3.gov.
- File a complaint with the National Consumer League at www.nclnet.org.
Here are some general rules to follow to avoid being scammed:
- Never respond to unsolicited offers. Delete unsolicited emails offering payday loans. Attachments received with these emails may contain malware, so don’t open them. These emails are likely to be from scammers who may be phishing for your personal information. They take advantage of people in dire need by making offers that are hard to refuse.
- Never pay any money in advance. Some scammers may ask you to pay an upfront fee before your application for a payday loan can be processed. Remember, legitimate lenders, such as those featured through PaydayLoansOnline, will never ask you to pay anything upfront when you apply for a payday loan.
- Only approach reliable lenders. Using the introduction and comparison platform at PaydayLoansOnline.net ensures you are only making a connection with reputable, regulated lenders who will never approach you with unsolicited offers or try to scam you.