Pay day loan cowboys spam a lot thanks to OFT

Through a combination of dark patterns, lazy form-filling and shysters selling your private data for tuppence, the chances of receiving marketing spam on your mobile are ever-increasing. Not that you need it because your mates are always happy to chip in with recommendations:

Avid Bitterwallet reader Jon received a text message to recommend First Pay Day Loan UK. All good stuff, except it obviously wasn't sent by a friend of Jon's, nor could Jon recall requesting any information on loans. The practice is hardly new but then you wonder why nothing ever seems to get done about it. What's more galling is when you realise how easy the regulatory bodies make it for these businesses to operate.

First Pay Day Loan UK is operated by First Financial (UK) Ltd. Assuming the SMS messages were sent by the company they promoted, then according to DueDil the man in charge is Hamed Shabani. He registered the company only  last December. Naturally the registered address is a rented PO Box and the domain name wasn't registered until last month.

Dig into the website's source code and you'll see it's a basic template available from Marketer Sites, which claims the sole aim of the template is to make massive amounts of affiliate revenue by generating sales leads - if somebody enquires about a pay day loan through the site then the owner stands to make money. But who's paying for these leads? According to Marketer Sites, a US-based company called T3Leads will pay up to $135 per lead. T3Leads have been held to account for alleged phishing activity in the past few months.

So there's an alleged mass spammer and an American affiliate company preying on desperate consumers. Who else is involved here? On the First Pay Day Loan UK website, First Financial (UK) Ltd claims to have a Credit License:

And a check of the Consumer Credit Act (CCA) Public Register reveals against all odds, it actually does:

It can't be so easy to get a credit license, can it? Actually it can - although credit brokerage can be considered 'high risk' by the OFT, there isn't an automatic requirement for companies to submit a competence form when applying.

So despite having no business premises and operating from a bedroom through a PO Box number, despite appearing to offer credit only as part of a US-based affiliate scheme flagged by the national press, and despite the marketing company mentioned in the website's online privacy policy being repeatedly associated with scams, it appears that somebody can broker jacked-up loans through spam marketing with the backing of the Office of Fair Trading.

Few will fall for it but that approval will make a company appear credible to some. Of course plenty of spammers don't bother getting their activity rubber-stamped, but you'd hope those that try are kicked out by the authorities meant to stop them in the first place.



  • Lewis W.
    If you're on Android, a clever little trick is to create a contact called "Blocked Numbers", then every time you get a call or text from these numbers, add them to this contact and select the "Block Contact" button on the contact card. No calls or texts from these numbers will ever get through.
  • chewbacca
    Well done BW for a thoroughly decent and considered article! WAY above and beyond your usual 5 year old adverts and other guff. If you keep on doing this sort of thing, you may well rescue your reputation and become a "go to" advice site for those disaffected by Martin "sell out" Lewis' MSE
  • Justin A.
    I agree with Chewbacca, this is approaching actual journalism and worth reading.
  • Trumpton
    Excellent article. Is there anything we can do to retaliate to such texts? I got the exact same text last week and would love to return the favour to the guys involved somehow...
  • noshit
    Hi Mate, I'm still out in Town. Just crowned a huge shit in BHS disabled toilets. If you want a look contact these guys,
  • Sicknote
    @chewbacca Why bother even commenting...? The sorts of cunts that take these products deserve the arse fisting they get. My only regret is that I haven't invested in one of these pay day loan companies yet. I won't bother going over old ground about being a cunt at school and not working hard and risking your family......but I am laughing like a mother fucker that people get caught up with these payday loan cunts.
  • Tony R.
    Look some of us need the quick cash to sort out some financial problems and what's better than pay day loan compare to high street banks who would charge you lots of extras for late payments and ....! I've been personally l using pay day loan companies for the last 7 months and would not hesitate to use this one as well as I like to use a new one each time when i apply for some obvious reason!
  • apply l.
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