Money lenders target vulnerable people during Aidilfitri - Police

Deceptive tactics lure the desperate

10 Apr 2024 10:03am
Loan scams have shifted their tactics to target victims online. - Photo by 123RF.
Loan scams have shifted their tactics to target victims online. - Photo by 123RF.

SHAH ALAM - Money lending syndicates are preying on vulnerable Malaysians during Hari Raya, targeting those in need and individuals seeking quick cash for the festive season.

Authorities warn that these syndicates use deceptive advertising tactics, including unrealistically low interest rates and promises of instant loan approval.

Federal Police Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) Director Datuk Seri Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said investigations found syndicates taking advantage of this festive season by targeting low-income groups.

"Those with low incomes and unstable finances are among those who fall victim.

"The pressure of living expenses, as well as the need to buy festive essentials, leads them to seek easy ways out and ultimately become victims," he told Sinar.

Ramli - Bernama photo.
Ramli - Bernama photo.

Ramli highlighted the deceptive practices used by these lenders.

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"Some offer zero-interest rates to lure borrowers, only to raise rates unexpectedly later.

"In some cases, the interest alone exceeds the loan amount, creating a significant burden for repayment," he said.

Loan scams have shifted their tactics to target victims online.

"Previously, these syndicates relied on physical advertising like banners and flyers.

"Now, they exploit social media platforms to reach a wider audience and attract potential victims more easily," Ramli said.

Ramli stressed the importance of public awareness in preventing these scams.

"Don't be swayed by offers that seem too good to be true.

"These loan deals from syndicates are not solutions; they create long-term financial problems," he cautioned.

Financial difficulties, particularly during festive seasons, are a major reason why people fall victim to these scams.

"The pressure to buy necessities and celebrate can be overwhelming.

"However, seeking loans from syndicates is not the answer. It's crucial to seek legitimate financial solutions or practice responsible budgeting," he added.