STRUGGLE families warned to be wary of cash offers on social media sites after a payday loan broker targeted Facebook buy and sell groups.
Bee Loans masqueraded as individuals on Facebook to recommend that users take out loans of £ 100 to £ 5,000, with an exorbitant interest rate of 305.9% APR.
After being contacted by The Sun, the broker “suspended” the use of such advertisements saying he was not aware of what was going on.
In an ad, which was spotted by Charlotte Burns blogging on Lotty Earns, someone commented on a local buying and selling group saying, “What are the odds of me getting a loan today. I need around £ 600 and i don’t have good credit at all. Who will deffo help plz [sic]”.
What appears to be an individual then responds with the following: “Bee Loans will make that amount for you, they make loans for people with very bad credit.”
“I got £ 800 last Christmas which really helped me.”
To which the original user replies: “Great, I just searched for them on google, is this the right website for them? ApplyNow.beeloans.co.uk/ #Ad”
The commentator then responds by saying, “Yes this is the correct one, if you ask for that amount now it should be with you in the next few hours they are usually really quick.”
To which the original poster responds: “Ok, thanks for your help, I’ll do it now x #sponsoredad”
It was only the inclusion of “#Ad” and “#sponsoredad” that aroused Charlotte’s suspicion.
And it looks like Charlotte is not alone. When she tweeted about it, someone else said they saw a similar thread on another local Facebook page.
Again, what looked like a chat between two Facebook users also included the words “#Ad” and “#sponsoredad” in the posts.
According to the rules of the advertising watchdog, advertisements must be “obviously recognizable as such” – whether on social media or otherwise.
They don’t necessarily need to include hashtags to say they’re an advertisement, but the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) says that “the status of a tweet, blog, vlog, d ‘an Instagram post or story should be clear “.
How to request a refund from payday lenders
YOU can seek compensation from a payday lender if the loan was unaffordable, even if you have finished paying it off.
If you believe you are entitled to compensation, you should follow these DebtCamel steps to find out how to make a claim.
1. Check if you sold the loan incorrectly
Before a lender gives you a loan, they must check whether you are able to repay it.
For a payday loan to be affordable, you need to be able to pay it off the next month as well as pay your other bills and debts.
The loan was unaffordable if:
- you often renewed loans or borrowed again soon after repaying a loan;
- your loans from a lender were increasing in size;
- some reimbursements were late; Where
- the loan was a big part of your income.
Ask the lender for a copy of your loan details, such as when you took it out and how much interest you paid.
Compare it to your bank statements from the time you took it out and see if you could have paid off the loan after paying your bills.
2. Make a complaint
There are websites that will help you submit your complaint to the lender, but be aware that if you are successful, they will take part of your compensation.
DebtHacker.co.uk is a completely free tool that will help you in the same process.
If you prefer to do it yourself, you should write a letter or email citing “unaffordable loans” and request a full refund of the interest and fees you paid, plus the 8% interest on the loan. ombudsman in addition.
Also request that the loan be removed from your credit report.
You can find letter templates in DebtCamel, MoneySavingExpert, and MoneyAdviceService.
3. Contact the Mediator
If you have not heard from them after eight weeks, you must contact the financial mediator.
You should also contact them if your complaint is dismissed, the repayment is too low, or if they refuse to consider loans that are over six years old and have been sold to a debt collector.
In a statement, William Ellis Sinclair, who is both behind Beeloans and short-term loan research site Moolr, said: “Bee Loans is a trading style of William Ellis Sinclair (WES), an established financial broker. .
“WES has been made aware of a problem with the advertisements promoting Bee Loans today, January 10, 2019. These advertisements were designed and maintained by an advertising affiliate and do not appear to comply with WES advertising guidelines as the affiliates must follow.
“We have therefore decided to take steps to suspend this type of advertising for the time being, pending review.”
Sara Williams, a consultant for the Citizens Advice charity and blogger at Debt Camel, warns that short-term loans can “sting”.
She wrote on Twitter, “Stop looking for a loan,” they say… then they quote a 305% APR representative. Ouch it stings “.
Sara added, “It can be quick and easy to find a bad credit loan through Bee Loans, but it can be long and difficult to pay it off.
“If you’re struggling with bills and debt, talk to your creditors about a payment arrangement or look at a free debt management plan – borrowing more only makes your situation worse the next month.”
If you already have a relationship with Bee Loans, be sure to speak to the right company, as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has issued a warning regarding companies trying to clone the loan search engine.
You can also file complaints about what you believe to be misleading advertisements through the ASA website. The Sun will report Bee Loans Facebook ads to the watchdog.
Millions of people could have to repay payday loans, as lenders were warned only last year to offer unaffordable loans.
We spoke to a father of two who got £ 3,750 back on a £ 600 payday loan he couldn’t afford.
Meanwhile, there is a new free tool that could help millions of people seek repayments from payday lenders for unaffordable loans.
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