Whether you’re looking for love or a loan, there’s always a risk that you can fall for fraudsters and scammers. Here’s how to keep your feelings and your finances safe.
People looking for love can easily get catfished; similarly, people looking for money in the form of a loan, can easily get scammed. When desperate for love or desperate for money, we often don’t see the obvious signs of catfishing or scamming.
Catfishing is when someone pretends to be someone else so they can trick you into wanting a romantic relationship with them. To this end, the catfisher uses made-up stories and fake photos to support their fake identity. Most catfishers are in it for the money. They might tell you that they need money to come and see you. Or that they need some money to cover medical costs. You may feel you’re helping them out by transferring (some) money, but they will likely keep coming up with more excuses to ask for financial aid.
Most loan scams involve fake (or real!) agents asking you for upfront payments to process your loan application. In most cases they disappear with your money and you never see the loan.
Even if you believe catfishing or loan scamming could never happen to you, take a few minutes to remind yourself of the signs to look out for and the steps you can take to not fall for fraudsters.
1. If it sounds too good to be true…
Catfishers paints a very flattering picture of themselves to get you interested. In the same way, loan scammers will promise you a huge loan at a low interest rate and with no credit bureau checks. If the person or the loan sounds too good to be true, they are probably a scam.
2. What does the research show?
Before getting too friendly with a new contact or friend, do some research. Catfishers create and delete online profiles frequently so that they don’t get caught. Therefore, be very suspicious if someone’s profile is new, or if you can’t find them anywhere else online. When it comes to loan offers, make sure that the company the “agent” represents actually exists and, if it does, contact them to check that the agent – and the offer – is real.
3. Asking for money
This is the most obvious sign that you’re dealing with a catfish or a scammer. A loan agent that asks you for money upfront is a crook – there is no doubt about that. An agent cannot give you a better deal or guarantee that your loan will be approved. Also, all your loan payments to a credit provider such as Bayport go through formal deduction channels as per your contractual agreement – never in cash or payment to individuals.In the case of catfishing, never give money to a person you’ve never even met in real life, no matter what they tell you.
4. Asking for personal information
Catfishers often try to get explicit pictures or videos from their victims so that they can
blackmail them for money, while loan scammers are after your PIN, banking details and/or ID number. Remember that a reputable company, such as Bayport, will never ask for any passwords, login details or a banking PIN number via WhatsApp, email, SMS or on the phone. Honest credit providers don’t need your PIN to transfer your loan money into your bank account. This all sounds very nasty – and it is! Remember that you can keep yourself safe by keeping a level head and doing your research before jumping into a relationship or a loan.