DO NOT REPLY EITHER WAY – THIS IS A SCAM
This is another spam text message in the same vein as the Debt Settlement Order Unsolicited Text Message that I wrote about in January earlier this year.
I received this a few days ago from 07581497874 / +447581497874.
You will almost certainly have a different number. Feel free to post it below, and follow the instructions below for reporting.
And here is it:
Are you looking for aloan up to 15k. No guarantor. Same day payout. Bad Credit OK. Completely online. Visit www.getaloanfast.co.uk To opt-out reply stop
Searching around there are other variants:
Your loan has been approved for up to 15K No guarantor. Same day payout. Bad Credit OK. Completely online.
This is the first text where the name of the company (Getaloanfast.co.uk) are featured. I have deliberately not linked to their website but you can, of course visit at your own leisure through the wonders of copy/paste. Monsters wont emerge forth from your monitor and destroy the universe. No physical harm will become you, however I really wouldn’t bother. I was going to include a screenshot, but there’s a sneaky copyright at the bottom, so i thought I’d play it safe.
Let’s look carefully at the APR. Apparently, the ‘typical’ rate is 17.9%. The word ‘typical’ is particularly valid here. Essentialliy, it means that they would expect to give 66% (nearly two-thirds) of their customers a loan at that rate. Here are a couple of links with more details on ‘Typical APR’ if you are interested:
But this advertised rate is very misleading, because when you go through the loan application process you are not actually offered a loan from GetALoanFast.co.uk at all. So, you can kiss goodbye to that 17.9% right away!
In fact, the parent company that underpins this operation does its best obfuscate its actual identity and actual interest rate until the very last stage in the process. And even then you are left a little unsure. Let’s have a look at this:
What Happens When You ‘Apply’?
So, let’s take an imaginary customer, Dr William T Conqueror, who wants to take out a 15K loan as they suggest. William, 35, is married, and is super-rich. He has a house valued at ten-million pounds with no mortgage and a monthly income of one million pounds. He has an impeccable credit history and wants the loan over sixty months for some home improvements.
We’re forced to enter a phone number, so I use the one above (i.e. the one that supposedly sent me the message in the first place). We go through the screens to get a quote. We are happily informed:
We are now matching your details with over 251 lenders to find you the best quotation possible, this will only take a few seconds……
251 companies? Wow! And then:
Great news, one of our approved partners has found you a loan.
This can all be done online and to save you time we have already pre-populated your details to their online portal ready for completion.
Horay! So we are taken to the next page, and we’re not on the GetALoanFast.co.uk site anymore. Instead we are at ‘loanfinder.co.uk’. So, GetALoanFast may offer 17.9% APR, but it doesn’t appear possible to obtain a loan from them at all.
Rather than the originally touted 251 companies, we now appear to have ‘searched’ through 292! And what is the APR the ‘selected’ company is offering our zero-risk multi-millionaire doctor and lord of the manor?
53.9 %APR Representative
53.9%!!! According to Guardian Newspaper Loan Repayment Calculator, over 60 months we would end up paying back £28,544.10 . That’s nearly double!
So, what of LoanFinder.co.uk? Well, they are a bit hard to pin down:
- It uses GetALoanFast.co.uk as a front to make it appear that if offers a 17.9% APR
- Loanfinder is a trading name of Post Net Ltd
- Loanfinder is part of the Richmond Group of companies
Eh? So who are they then? It could be one of four different companies!
I would consider any company are willing to resort to spamming thousands of phones in order to drum up business, to be of extremely questionable and dubious repute. By seemingly attempting to ‘cloak’ their identity, they reduce my opinion of their rectitude yet further.
I would rather gnaw my own arm off then get a loan with this company.
And then I look even further. When searching in Google for LoanFinder.co.uk scam I get a whopping 36,000 results. Top of a list is an entire site dedicated to this – Loanfinderukscam.co.uk. Take a look further. The author is of now doubt that this is a scamming operation, although, does publish a response from them on HubPages.com.
Spam is widely regarded as being unethical. The methods by which the spam text message reaches your phone is cloaked in deceit and trickery (see my article Telephony Leads and Debt Management Companies – How It Works) and the cumulative cost to the spam recipients is greater than the cost to the spammer themself.
Consider the following other products that are marketing by spam, that we have become more hardened to:
- Diet Pills
- Other pharmaceuticals
- Fake College Degrees
Most people wouldn’t dream of paying these items even a second glance, so why not treat EVERY company that does this the same way, regardless of the medium (Email, Text Messages, Telephone Calls, Post, etc).
Are You a Victim?
Screenchannel Television is making a new series about debt and loans and are looking for people to share their experiences. If have been a victim of this scam, or have even considered responding and are interested in taking part, then you can read more in this article.
Back in May 2009, the Guardian newspaper wrote an article Spam to go – the new mobile menace. It recommends a number of organisations you can contact.
To complain about an inappropriate text, call the Advertising Standards Authority 020 7492 2222 or go to www.asa.org.uk/asa/contact/
To resolve continual mobile spam despite texting “stop”, contact the ICO on 01625 54 57 45 or go to www.ico.gov.uk/complaints.aspx
For help with premium rate text spam, call PhonepayPlus on 0800 500 212 or log on to www.phonepayplus.org.uk/output/Make-a-complaint.aspx
You may be report these messages to your provider. The following links may help:
Vodafone – How do I report spam text messages? Forward the spam message to VSPAM (87726).
Orange – Stop spam text messages. If you are on Orange and get spam messages, please forward them to 7726 free from your Orange phone. By doing this you are helping Orange to collate information to help reduce spam messages being sent to you and others.
02 also allow you to report on 7726. See: SPAM and unwanted subscription texts
I would also try forwarding the message onto 7726 if you are with T-Mobile or Three.
Leave Your Numbers
Again, post your numbers below. Some people may search just for that number, so if we can help others then all the better.