THE CENTRAL BANK of Ireland has urged consumers to be wary of companies offering quick and easy loans during the holiday season.
There has been an increase in the number of unauthorized credit companies operating in Ireland and the Central Bank continues to remind the public to think twice before providing personal information to companies online.
Many unauthorized businesses may at first glance appear legitimate and have seemingly impressive and official websites. However, many of them are involved in scams or money laundering activities.
A list of unauthorized companies for which the Central Bank has issued warnings is available on the regulator’s website. website.
According to the Central Bank, consumers should check the Central Bank Register now online to find out if a company / person they are dealing with is licensed. The public should also be wary of advertisements offering loans from unauthorized companies or individuals.
Other tips include:
- If you want to get a financial product like loan, insurance, investment or pension, or if you want to get financial service like investment advice, you should only deal with a company / person authorized by the Central Bank – check the central bank register to see if the company / person is authorized.
- Always check the URL and contact details of a company / person in case it is a “clone company / person” claiming to be an authorized company / person, such as your bank or a real investment firm.
- Check the list of unauthorized companies. If the company / person is not on our list, do not assume that they are legitimate – they may not have been reported to the Central Bank yet.
For more information, you can visit the Avoid scams and unauthorized activities section of the Central Bank website.
What to do if you think you’ve been scammed
The Central Bank says the first thing to do if you think you’ve been scammed is to stop sending money immediately.
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The next step is to report it to your bank, the Central Bank and then to Gardaí to discuss all the options available to you.
According to the Central Bank, if you have been the victim of a scam or fraud, you may be targeted again. It can take weeks or years after the initial scam or fraud has taken place.
A spokesperson said: “Often times you are offered what appears to be a chance to get back the money you lost in the original scam or fraud. This can take many forms, but will usually involve sending some sort of fee in order to get your money back.
Some examples include supposed tax, government administration fee, re-gluing fee, etc. Scam or fraud operators will often pose as fictitious government agencies, issuing you with fraudulent documents regarding legal action, nondisclosure agreements, copies of share certificates, etc. Please be aware that these documents may appear official and authentic.
The Central Bank has warned that it is very unlikely that you will ever get your money back from the original scam or fraud and it will usually be an attempt by the original scammers to extract even more. money from their original victims.
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