Rogue credit brokers fleecing more of us than ever before
Once again, those good friends Desperation and Greed are having a toe-to-toe and it’s resulting in good times for their dickhead cousin Misery. Wondering what we’re banging on about now? Then read on.
Complaints are on the up about companies that demand upfront fees for loans that are then never arranged, according to Consumer Direct. They received 3,167 gripes in the year leading up to the end of June, compared with 2,059 from the year before. It is believed that as many as 270,000 people paid upfront fees to credit brokers in the past year, something which the Office of Fair Trading strongly warns against. Many of these ‘rogue’ credit brokers contact customers direct by cold-calling on the phone or sending unsolicited text messages.
OFT spokesdude David Fisher spoke to the BBC about these evil-doers, saying: “We have seen an increase in complaints about companies who are not interested in the applicant's credit history, that ask for payment of fees upfront and then disappear with the money. We advise people to check out the company carefully before agreeing to anything, including asking for a landline number, a physical address and doing a search about the company online, as well as checking that they have a valid credit licence.”
There’s been some bleating about tightening regulation and outlawing this, that and the other but it seems that more and more people are being stung by these shadowy loanmeisters. If you’re unsure about the validity of a credit broker, you can consult the OFT’s register of those who have valid licences.