What are the scams with online credits denounced by the CMF

Up to $5 million “advance” can be claimed by online lending firms that offer to fix financial problems in minutes, promising to ignore clients’ business history.

This week, the Commission for the Financial Market (CMF) reported three firms to the Public Ministry for alleged fraud. These are Corpocofisa, Credit Cooperative and Suaval of credits.

All have until the closing of this edition its active pages and with striking advertisements that allow credits to be quoted and with experiences of satisfied customers.

Andrés Montes, the prosecutor of the CMF Investigation Unit explains how these “criminal organizations” operate, as he catalogs them.

“They work through different websites that offer loans very quickly, without checking business records and, in general, in conditions that appear to be very convenient,” he says.

“However, what distinguishes these frauds is that, once the alleged credit has been approved, they require the victim to pay an advance of money that is supposedly intended to cover expenses associated with its grantingsuch as lawyers, insurance, notaries, stamps, taxes, etc. and generally under the promise that said amounts will be reimbursed at the time of the course of the credit, “explains the persecutor.

The amount of the advance can be up to 30% of the amount requested in the credit. “We have received cases in which the victims paid up to 5 million pesos as an ‘advance’”point.

The deception consists, he adds, in making the victim believe that they are interacting with a legitimate institution and that, if they pay the required advance, they will receive the requested credit. In some cases they have even said that they are supervised by the CMF and warn visitors not to be fooled and to be careful with scams.

The relationship with the victim is by phone or WhatsApp and, at the time of accepting the credit, they send contracts that, in some cases, have the logo of the CMF or other public entities printed on them.

So far, the Commission has alerted the public to 54 such entities. “During the pandemic we have noticed a substantial increase in these websites that offer credits in order to defraud those who request them. In fact, we started with 5 alerts on our website in 2020, we continue with 27 in 2021, and we have 21 so far in 2022, which shows that this phenomenon has had an exponential growth”, explains Montes.

And he concludes: “These entities mainly seek to capture people who cannot access credit in the formal credit system, either because they cannot prove income or because they have unpaid debts in the financial system. In addition, in general, these are victims who urgently need to obtain financing to cover basic needs, which makes it especially tempting to make the advance payment to receive the credit. We have even received cases in which victims go into debt with relatives or friends to pay this advance.”