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Beware of Fake Loan Ads on Social Media

  • Highlights

  • Social media apps have become the playground of unscrupulous fraudsters who are out to rope you in with fake loan ads and loan frauds

  • Do not fall for fake loan ads or share your sensitive information

  • Things to look out for

  • Tips to maintain safety

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit, Quora, WhatsApp, Telegram – these and other social media websites and mobile/personal messaging apps are the ‘go to’ of our age. We communicate with family and friends, reach out to brands and businesses through these apps and sites. Visiting offices or writing emails have become passé in the age of social media. As much as these apps and sites are helping us connect, they have also become the playground of unscrupulous fraudsters who are out to rope you in with fake loan ads and loan frauds. Your financial security may well depend on being aware and alert while using social media applications.

How can you fall for fake loan ads?

When you are logged into a social media site or application, advertisements for various products and services are all too common. Most of these advertisements are specifically tailored to match your search results. This means that if you have been searching up on personal loans or Googling home loan rates or automobile loan eligibility, chances are that you will see several advertisements on your social media pages that offer loans at low-interest rates. The challenge here is that a number of these are fake loan ads.

If you are logged into Facebook or Instagram, for example, and come across an advertisement that claims to provide instant personal loans at zero or very low-interest rates, it’s something that will catch your attention. You require a loan and have been researching your options for a while now. This advert claims that the loan provider is Bajaj Finserv, one of India’s largest and most trusted NBFCs. Once you click the advertisement, it leads you to a page asking for your details. The fraudsters will now ask you to call a number or ask for your mobile number, Bajaj Finserv EMI Network Card number, credit card number, bank account details, and other sensitive financial information. Sharing these could put you at risk of falling for various Ponzi schemes, fake loans, and leakage of financial information.

I use social media. Am I at risk?

Yes. Every person who uses social media is at risk of social media loan frauds, phishing, vishing, and other vulnerabilities.

Things to look out for

What can you do to protect yourself and safeguard your money?

Avoiding social media is probably not a practical solution. There are tell-tale warning signs that you must look out for to stay protected.

• Authenticity – While most fake bank loan and social media loan advertisements may look authentic and may even carry the Bajaj Finserv logo, there may be a lack of authenticity. Look out for suspicious handles that may not look legit. Look out for spelling mistakes and irregular phone numbers

• Too good to be true? It probably is – If an advertisement for loans promises instant processing, no interest, no processing fee, no documentation – it is too good to be true. This is the trick that is used by scammers to rope in naïve loan seekers through social media

• The pressure to act – Most of these fake ads do not allow you the time to process and think about the offer. They sometimes come with countdown timers that pressure you to share details and your phone number immediately

• Low on details – Most of the fake ads placed on social media sites by fraudsters do not give out complete details. They may ask for your phone number, EMI network card number, financial details, etc. but may not provide proper customer contact or redressal methods

• Low or no credit check – Bajaj Finserv loans are extended after a proper credit check or based on your CIBIL score. Bank loan frauds and fake adverts specifically mention that credit scores are not required. This is a warning sign

Tips to maintain safety:

Tips to maintain safety:

To keep your financial information secure from fraudsters and social media scammers, it is important that you –

• Maintain a locked profile and display minimal personal information to strangers

• Accept friend/follow requests only from those who are personally acquainted with you

• Look out for tell-tale warning signs of suspicious advertisements and not click on any ads unless you are certain they are genuine

• Do not share your phone number with any person unless you’re certain they are Bajaj Finserv employees

• Do not leave your phone number/ID card snapshot/Email address/Card details in Tweets and Facebook comments

• Never search for customer care phone numbers on social media sites or on Google. Always seek official contact details on the Bajaj Finserv website at www.bajajfinserv.in

If you need to verify the authenticity of a claim or an advertisement you come across on any social media site or need to report any malicious activity, do write to us at wecare@bajajfinserv.in

CAUTION – Social media is a great space to connect but it is important to protect your personal and financial information from the clutches of fraudsters.

Savdhan Rahein. Safe Rahein.

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