Loan sharking activities existed since the beginning of time and is a nightmare to Singaporeans. Loan sharks are on the rise mainly because they fill a gap in the stringent bank loan application. The most attractive bit of loan sharks is their lenient requirements but high interest-rates. Since they are not registered by law, they would usually use underhand tactics to get their money back to the point where they may disrupt your family.
This is why we Singaporeans should stay away from borrowing from a loan shark as best as possible. Below are a few highlighted loan shark activities in Singapore in 2017:
Loan sharks are now on-trend with social media. A new way of harassment is by posting their details on social media with videos and pictures they had demanded as collateral. These tech-savvy loan sharks are disguising themselves as licensed moneylenders (LMLs) advertising their “services” online. This has led to an increasing number of people “mistakenly” borrowing money from unlicensed moneylenders (UMLs). For those who can’t pay back, their information is being posted online. Loan sharks also post threats and vulgarities on your Facebook wall and your friends’ walls.
A 41-year-old man was arrested and believed to be involved in another harassment case.
- 92 people were arrested for involvement in loan-sharking activities from a three-day islandwide police operation.
“Seventy-three of them are believed to have facilitated illegal money-lending by opening bank accounts and giving away their ATM cards and Personal Identification Numbers (PINs) to loan sharks, preliminary investigations revealed…Another 13 suspects are believed to have carried out Automated Teller Machine (ATM) transactions on behalf of loan sharks…Of the remaining six, three are suspected of providing false contact information to obtain loans and three of carrying out acts of harassment by splashing paint and scrawling graffiti on walls.” – Straits Times, 27 July 2017
The resident, named Ms Ho, had received a letter from the loan shark that read: “Final warning! Owe money pay money!! Better call me before anything happens!” She attempted to call to explain that she was the flat’s new owner, but he was hostile and said that he recognised only the address and not the person. The loan shark demanded her to pay SGD 1000, and when she refused, he sent her a video of him burning another HDB flat and threatened to do the same to hers. She then filed a police report.
- The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has arrested 68 men and 38 women, aged between 17 and 83, for their suspected involvement in loan shark activities.
Nine individuals out of those arrested were believed to have carried out acts of loan shark harassment by splashing paint and scrawling loan shark-related graffiti on walls. “Four others were believed to be runners who had assisted the loan sharks by carrying out ATM transfers and collecting debts…Another suspect is believed to have provided false contact information for the purpose of obtaining a loan…The remaining 92 suspects are believed to have opened bank accounts and given away their ATM cards and PINs to loan sharks to facilitate their unlicensed moneylending businesses…Investigations against the 106 are ongoing.” – Straits Times, 31 May 2017
White Sands Primary School’s walls were splashed with paint, and the situation was linked to an isolated incident related to loan shark activity.
A 16-year-old and an 18-year-old were arrested for setting the door of the rental flat at Lengkok Bahru ablaze around 2am. The flat was occupied by a family with a 14-month-old son, but no physical harm was done to them. It was understood that the harassment was towards the former occupant of the flat.
These are just a few of the rampant loan shark activities being reported; there are many more untold stories and many more helpless victims that fall prey to this monstrosity.
There is another loan option that is not as stringent as bank loans and not violent like the loan shark scams – FS Bolt. FS Bolt is under Funding Societies where you can get an approved business loan of up to SGD 100k in just 2 hours and funds disbursement in 24 hours.
Funding Societies – Capital Markets Services License No: CMS100572-1 issued by Monetary Authority of Singapore (2016)