#Letter: Beware of online loan scams

Shayamoya resident Everton Mfitshi writes:

I would like to warn people about a new scam trend on Facebook and WhatsApp.

In January, parents have to pay school fees for their children, buy uniforms and stationery.

This means that most parents need extra funds, but I want to warn them to be very careful of people on social media claiming to lend people money.

They even use big brands when advertising on Facebook.

When you reply to the ad, they respond with a WhatsApp number, to which you must send all your personal information such as your full names, net salary, etc.

Once they receive your information, they say they will respond within 24 hours.

After a few hours, you receive an SMS informing you that the loan you requested has been approved.

But they also ask you to pay R2,999 upfront for the insurance, claiming that this amount is to protect your loan if you cannot make payments due to illness or retrenchment.

When you ask them if they have any branches nearby, their answer is that they only have branches in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

All communication goes through WhatsApp, and I think that’s a big red flag. Reputable companies don’t work like that.

They also insist that the money must be paid up front before you can unlock the approved loan.

They also want all your account details. If people ask you to send your personal data, don’t.

If you need a loan, contact your bank or a registered financial institution. In my opinion, most of these Facebook ads are scams.

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