Want a loan? Hand over your 'SingPass'

Want a loan? Hand over your 'SingPass'
PUSHY: After making contact over the phone, a man kept asking the Wanbao reporter for “her name, NRIC number and SingPass”.

Some 20 posters advertising moneylending services have appeared at People's Park Food Centre, with the moneylender brazenly asking potential clients for their "SingPass", Chinese evening newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.

The posters are printed on a bright yellow background and read: "We are offering personal loan at any amount for all Singaporean or PR. Fast and easy approval in 45 mins!" A local mobile number is displayed prominently, along with a contact person.

The ads were spotted by Wanbao reader Wang Qijun, 60, who noticed them on several pillars at the food centre at 6pm on Tuesday.

A Wanbao reporter tried calling the mobile number provided on the posters several times, but the dial tone seemed to indicate that the other party was overseas.

After about 15 minutes, the reporter received a call from a private number. The caller appeared very pushy and kept trying to persuade the reporter to take out a loan, saying he could transfer any sum of money within 10 minutes if the necessary details were provided.

When asked for the name of the company, the male caller answered that there were only two people running the business, and that it used to operate in a commercial building but now faces a situation where it has no office and only "half a licence".

The caller repeatedly asked the reporter for "her name, NRIC number and SingPass", saying that he had to check her background thoroughly in order to "provide some safeguards for us".

The man said that the interest rate would be "20 per cent".

"If you want to borrow $1,000, we will give you $800 and you can return the sum over five weeks, $200 each time," said the caller.

In November 2011, the Government stopped moneylenders from advertising their services in newspapers and circulating marketing text messages.

Under the Moneylenders Act 2010 (Revised Edition), first-time offenders found guilty of loanshark harassment could be jailed up to four years, fined a minimum of $30,000 and up to $300,000, and receive up to six strokes of the cane.


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