The Guardian is reporting that payday loan comparison sites are hiding £75 charges for their services in their small print and are specifically targeting benefits claimants. Visitors, who often do not even get a loan, are having the money taken from their account and their bank details passed on to up to 200 other payday loan brokers, who may also try to take money from the same accounts.
In August alone, Nat West says that there were a million attempts by payday loan brokers to take money from customers’ accounts.
Astonishingly, the scammers are usually authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority, who have given over 5,000 licences to payday loan brokers before actually beginning to check up on them.
According to the Guardian:
“NatWest said it is seeing as many as 640 complaints a day from customers who say that sums, usually in the range of £50 to £75, have been taken from their accounts by companies they do not recognise but are in fact payday loan brokers.”
The banks also claim that scammers:
“. . .push their charges through bank payment processing systems between midnight and 3am, knowing that state benefit payments are added to accounts just after midnight. When the person living on unemployment or disability benefit wakes in the morning, they find their money has already vanished.”