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Gardaí warn of advance fee scam 02.05.19

AN Garda Siochana wish to alert the public in Inishowen to an ongoing advance fee scam related to online websites offering unsecured loans.
A number of websites offering unsecured loans are targeting vulnerable persons and those who have had difficulty obtaining loans from established financial institutions in a scam known as Advance Fee Fraud!

A typical scam would proceed as follows:

1. The victim applies for a loan through a website that offers loans which it is claimed will be processed quickly. The website may also claim that loans are available without the need for a good credit rating or the need to provide collateral for the loan and/or to provide any documentation apart from basic personal details. Some of these firms also claim to be regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland when this is not the case.

2. The victim will receive a call or communication within a very short time (often minutes) informing them that their loan application has been approved and providing details of the amount of the loan and the monthly repayment.

3. The victim will then be asked to send an amount of money to the lender in advance of the loan amount being issued. There are different reasons given for this advance fee, for example:
a. As an upfront fee
b. To pay for personal protection insurance on the loan amount
c. To discharge overseas taxes
d. To show that the victim has the ability to meet the loan repayments

4. No loan monies are ever issued to the victim and the advance fee is lost.

Always check the official Central Bank website to see if a firm is authorised by the Central Bank. The register of authorised firms can be accessed at http://registers.centralbank.ie/ .
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