The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) and the Office for Consumer Protection (OPC) warn the population against false money lenders, who use social media to recruit their “clients”.
By dangling offers of personal loans, car loans or mortgages at very advantageous rates, the fraudsters demand a few thousand dollars in miscellaneous fees, payable in advance by wire transfers. They take the opportunity to collect personal information, such as bank details of borrowers.
Note that fraudsters claim to be affiliated with recognized financial institutions. Often, their displayed name does not correspond to any corporate name registered in Quebec. Their website can be hosted outside of Quebec. Of course, these organizations do not have the certificate or permit required, as the case may be, by the AMF or by the OPC.
Remember that consumers should never apply for a loan from a person or organization without checking. With the exception of large financial institutions, companies that offer money loans must be holders of a permit from the OPC and those that do mortgage brokerage, a certificate from the AMF.
In any case, whether it is a lender or a broker, there should never be a question of paying fees up front when looking to borrow.
Text by Stéphane Lévesque, Local Journalism Initiative, L’Hebdo Journal