Financial Intermediaries Deception
Latest Case Scenario
Recently, the Police received a number of reports from members of the public who suspected that they had fallen prey to scams related to the money lending of financial intermediaries. Before applicants signed contracts to take out loans from financial intermediaries, they did not read the details of the contracts carefully, and afterwards, they had to pay exorbitant handling fees and interests.
The latest financial intermediaries scams even involved some bogus law firms. Fraud syndicates established bogus law firms and misled the victims to believe them and entrust the loans to their custody.
How does it work?
Some financial intermediaries highlight “no success, no fees”, making applicants misunderstand that they do not need to pay any fees if the loan applications are not successful. Fraudsters deceive applicants that the handling fees for loan applications can be waived, thus misleading victims to sign loan contracts. Eventually, the loan applications are unsuccessful, and applicants are demanded to pay exorbitant handling fees or interests.
What is our advice?
- Staff of banks or mortgage companies will never request clients to borrow money from another finance company for repaying existing loans.
- Do not believe callers easily. Call to check with the banks or recognized financial institutions about getting loans.
- Do not use large amount of cash in any transaction. Pay by cheque or transfer and keep the relevant record.
- Read the contents and details of the contract carefully before signing one.
- In case of doubt, report the case to the Police as soon as possible.
- If a suspected bogus law firm is involved, you can verify whether the lawyer and law firm concerned are registered by checking on the website (www.hklawsoc.org.hk) or enquiry hotline (2846 0500) of the Law Society of Hong Kong.