The entire world is connected via the web, which is the only reason why business is still functioning to some extent, even in this time of crisis.
However, it’s also a hotbed of criminal activity, and unless we are careful where we tread, it’s only a matter of time before we end up meeting the darker side of the internet.
If you are in need of funds to handle an emergency right now, then online loans are a contactless, fast option for direct bank transfers. However, it is highly advised to practice caution in choosing your online lender, especially at this time when a large number of people are likely to seek online loans. Avoid the cybercriminals, scammers and unsafe, shady websites pretending to be safe options by going through the following points.
The Lender Wants a Fee Upfront
No legal lending entity will ask you for an upfront fee, online or offline, because that would essentially defeat the purpose of taking out a loan to begin with. Someone with bad credit who cannot get loans from the more traditional, first-party sources will often become anxious, and these are the scammers who would take advantage of their mental and financial vulnerability. The upfront fee may also be disguised as:
- Documentation fees
- Application fees
- Middleman fees
- Agent fees
Any and all legitimate lenders will charge their interests and fees as applicable, only during the repayment tenure of the loan. It will be included and clearly mentioned in the loan contract itself.
The Lender Has No History or Verifiability
If you search reputable sites like loanpigusa.com, you will see reviews and find user experiences, and you will also be able to confirm the legitimacy of the site since every loan company must register with the concerned US state before doing business with its residents legally.
This, however, will not happen if you are dealing with a scam site that’s only pretending to be a legitimate business. If an online lender has no history online and isn’t registered with the State Department of Banking or Financial Regulation, it’s part of a cybercriminal organization that’s looking to steal financial information and/or money online.
The Lender Sounds Familiar but Isn’t
Cybercriminals looking to victimize people rely on two primary factors:
- Creating a false sense of authenticity
- Using the desperation of a borrowing party
This false sense of authenticity is first created by using a site name which looks very similar to a trusted name in the loan business but with subtle differences. Combined with the emergency situation of the borrowing party, the subtle difference is often easily masked. What has made these phishing attempts even harder to stay safe from, is that these scam sites too can have their own green padlock and https:// encryption, making them seem fully legit! Be very careful and read every letter in the web address to verify whether it’s a phishing attempt or not.
Cyberattacks come in many forms and may affect victims in various different ways, but the end goal is always to extort, cheat, or steal money and sensitive information from anyone they can. Only deal with authentic direct lenders and identify the frauds by keeping these few pointers in mind. If you can’t verify the lender, or if you find discrepancies between their claims to authenticity and actual facts, never take the risk and simply seize all contact with them.