ASIC urges consumers to check the credentials of businesses they deal with, following complaints it has received from consumers about two unlicensed businesses offering home loans with an upfront fee.
Ezy Savings and Caveat Loans ITstrong are not registered Australian companies or businesses nor do they have an Australian office or valid business address. However, ASIC is aware these two unlicensed businesses are offering services for home loans and other types of credit. Unsolicited telephone calls – known as ‘cold calls’ – are made to consumers. This involves consumers being subjected to high-pressure and often misleading or deceptive sales methods to persuade them to pay an advance fee towards obtaining a loan.
When consumers pay the fee the loan is not provided and consumers cannot contact the business. All contact with consumers is made by phone, fax or email. The phone numbers appearing on the companies’ websites and business documents have been traced to an end-user in India.
All lenders, brokers and credit intermediaries must be licensed by ASIC in order to offer consumer credit products and services.
Further information about this issue can be found on the ASIC website.
Consumers should always check basic company and business details by consulting ASIC’s website (www.asic.gov.au), which contains a listing of all registered Australian companies and businesses. ASIC’s MoneySmart website (www.moneysmart.gov.au) also provides helpful information on how to avoid scams.