You spot a very accommodating lender on the internet or Facebook. Even if it is not a financial institution, the rate is advantageous. Beware!
Michel (fictitious name) wanted to buy a chalet. He spotted an offer on the web: $ 40,000 at a rate of 4%. However, he must pay an administrative fee in advance, by bank transfer. He should have seen something was wrong.
He is given a QR code to click on the screen, but it doesn’t work. In an exchange of texts, the lender suggests that he make a bank transfer of $ 475 to pay the notary. But the money is not deposited in his bank account.
He texts the lender, who replies that he must also wire $ 1400 for loan insurance. However, there were not to be any other administrative costs. Still by text, the lender retorts that it is written in the contract. Michel immediately calls ACEF Estrie, who gave me his story.
ACEF and Michel discover that the notary, Denis Sansfaçon, is not registered with the Chambre des notaires (he does not exist) and the lender, Crédit Solution Plus, does not appear in the Quebec Business Register and does not hold no permit from the Consumer Protection Office (OPC).
“There was all kinds of bizarre information written into the contract,” explains Sylvie Bonin, spokesperson for ACEF Estrie. Michel attempted, unsuccessfully, to recover the costs of $ 475. That’s when we realized it was a scam. He finally alerted the police. “
Never by transfer
The OPC offered me a series of examples of similar scams, sometimes with a lender based in France. People who have lost $ 485, $ 681, $ 2300, $ 3300 and entrusted their personal information to fraudsters.
“When we borrow money, we never pay fees in advance or by bank transfer,” explains Charles Tanguay, spokesperson for the OPC, who recently warned the public on this subject in collaboration with the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF).
The Consumer Protection Office has received around 40 complaints since March, targeting around 20 bogus lenders. None had a license from the Office.
“It’s difficult, if not impossible, to get your money back afterwards when you make a bank transfer,” continues Ms. Bonin. These offers should be avoided even if the lender has an internet storefront. Anyone can build a great website. ”
Some also display the logo of Quebec financial institutions or falsely claim to hold an AMF license.
- A lender that is not a financial institution must hold a license from the OPC for any loan of money (1-888-672-2556 • opc.gouv.qc.ca/consommateur), or an AMF certificate for any mortgage loan (1-877-525-0337 • lautorite.qc.ca/grand-public/assistance-et-plainte).
- For all your remote transactions (including your purchases), never pay by bank transfer. Use PayPal or a credit card, which allows chargebacks.
- If the transaction involves a notary, check if there is one here: findunnotaire.cnq.org
- If you have financial problems, before borrowing, seek advice from ACEF in your region or neighborhood (AllGoodCalcule.ca).