NEWS RELEASES

09 May 2018

Police Advisory On Loan Scams With Possible Links To Unlicensed Moneylending

There has been an increase in scams involving loans with possible links to unlicensed moneylending. In the first quarter of 2018, there were 127 cases, an increase of about 54% from the same period last year. 

 

In some cases, victims received a SMS text message or WhatsApp message offering loan services. The sender may even claim to be a staff from a licensed moneylender. Interested parties are then instructed to transfer a sum of money as a deposit before the loan can be disbursed. However, after transferring the money, no loan was disbursed. The victims only realized that the message was not from a licensed moneylender and the person whom they had been corresponding with did not exist after contacting the respective moneylenders. 

 

Licensed moneylenders are not permitted to advertise their business through SMS or WhatsApp messages. Such advertisements on messaging platforms are likely to be from unlicensed moneylending syndicates. These syndicates may also resort to acts of harassment to compel victims to make loan repayments. 

 

Members of the public are advised to take the following precautions when they receive unsolicited messages, especially from unknown parties, that offer loan services:

 

a.   Ignore such advertisements. Do not reply to these messages. Instead, block or report the number as spam on WhatsApp or through third party applications. 

 

b.   If required, only engage the services of licensed moneylenders listed on the Ministry of Law’s Registry of Moneylenders website at https://www.mlaw.gov.sg/content/rom/en/information-for-borrowers/list-of-licensed-moneylenders-in-singapore.html

 

c.   Do not give out personal information, such as NRIC and contact numbers, and bank details, such as bank account number to anyone. 

 

Anyone with information on unlicensed moneylenders can call the Police hotline at 1800-255-0000, or submit the information online at www.police.gov.sg/iwitness. 

 

Members of the public may also call the National Crime Prevention Council’s X-Ah Long hotline at 1800-924-5664. They are also advised to share this advisory with family and friends to prevent them from becoming the next scam victim.

PUBLIC AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
09 May 2018 @ 9:00PM

Last Updated on 11 May 2018