Police are investigating an incident in which a woman who wanted to borrow $30,000 from a pawnshop found herself threatened and owed $500 instead.
When the Stomp Y contributor received a text message offering cash loans with a reasonable repayment plan, she thought it would be a great way to pay her credit card bill.
She said: “I recently received a text message from a pawnbroker. Since I have a pretty high credit card bill, I thought I could borrow $30,000 from him to pay it off.
“They offered me a repayment plan of $670 x 48 months, which was affordable to me because with my income, I can easily repay the money to them in monthly installments for four years.
“I’ve never borrowed money through such channels, so I guess standard procedure would be to get a photo of my ID card (front and back), a copy of my payslip and do a video call to make sure I’m the person in the IC.
“The lender then told me that as I am a new borrower they need to do some form of verification so they know I have the money to pay it back.
“He transferred $500 to my account and asked me to transfer $1000 to him for this verification. I did as I was told, but he said I had to transfer at the ATM and not Internet banking.
“He then told me to transfer another $1,000 through the ATM. I declined and told him to transfer the $1,000 back to me before transferring money to him again.
“Now the lender is not only refusing to return the extra $500 that I transferred to him, but he is demanding that I transfer $1,000 to him to delete all my information in his system, otherwise he will use my information to borrow money. money to other lenders and banks.”
Y also received threats from the pawnbroker.
Screenshots of their WhatsApp chat show the pawnbroker asking for money and saying, “We’ll send people to your house and pick them up.”
When the Stomp contributor refused to oblige her request for $1,000 to ‘settle’ the matter, he told her, ‘I’m just using your details to apply for a loan ok ady’.
The lender also sent Y video of what appears to be a fire started outside two apartments. Both units appeared to have been splashed with a dark liquid.
It is not known when or where the video was taken, or whether the lender was the one who committed the acts.
Y, who filed a police report on Monday (September 5), told Stomp: “The lender messaged me again on Tuesday using another number asking me for more money. I declined.
“I hope by sharing my experience, no one else will get scammed by these scammers.”
In response to a query from Stomp, police confirm that a report has been filed and investigations are ongoing.
Stomp reported a similar case in 2018, involving another woman who wanted to borrow $3,000 after receiving text messages offering “financial help”. She ended up losing $3,600.
Such scam tactics are unfortunately nothing new.
Police had warned of similar inconveniences earlier this year after receiving at least 15 reports from January to May with victims losing a total of more than $20,000 to the scammers.
Approved lenders are not allowed to solicit loans through text messages, phone calls or social media. They will also not ask a loan applicant to make a payment (such as for GST, “administration fee”, “processing fee” or any other fee) before a loan is disbursed or to guarantee the disbursement of a loan.
Members of the public are advised to steer clear of unapproved lenders and not to work with them or assist them in any way.