Scammers are getting increasingly bolder in their methods to dupe consumers.
In the latest incident, financial services giant Sanlam has warned on Friday that a false entity is using its name to flaunt personal loans to consumers.
The false entity, called “Sanlam Loans SA Pty”, is circulating personal loan offers to consumers under the Sanlam brand name, using a fake logo and contact details and presents clients with a “guaranteed” loan offering of 4.5% return.
The return will supposedly be in the form “of personal, commercial, leasing, debt consolidation and home loans”.
Sanlam said it strongly disassociates itself from these loan offers and has no connections to Sanlam Loans SA Pty.
Sanlam’s loan offer is managed through Sanlam Personal Loans (Pty) Ltd, a registered credit provider.
It said its Forensic Investigations unit is investigating these offers and discouraged all clients to refrain from acting on the offer.
Sanlam is not the only company being targeted by scammers at the moment. Fin24 reported recently about a loan scam which falsely claimed to be on behalf of Wonga.com.
Wonga.com South Africa warned consumers against this loan scam after it became aware of people offering loans to consumers under the Wonga company logo, registration number and NCR number.
Consumers were urged to remain vigilant against personal loan scams and other forms of phishing by fraudsters.
Statistics released by the South African Anti-Phishing Service in 2013 indicated that the country is the second-most targeted country for phishing scams in the world.
In addition, the financial surveillance department of the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) said it has seen a notable increase in advanced fee scams (also known as “419” or “Nigerian letter scams”) in SA over the last few years, particularly through the use of mobile phones.
In the Wonga.com scam the criminals sent consumers emails claiming to be from Wonga, offering them (fake) loans with unrealistic interest rates.
Once a recipient contacted the scammers, they were requested to provide personal information and to deposit various amounts of money into different private bank accounts.
This continued along with repeated requests for an advance fee payable, and the victim never receives the loan funds.
Wonga.com warned that it does not offer business loans and the only way to apply for a real Wonga loan is via the Wonga.com website – never by email or SMS.
In addition, Wonga offers a maximum loan of R2 500 for first time customers. Wonga will never request any payment upfront for a loan.