Leicester residents get 'easy loan' warning
Consumers in Leicester are being warned to avoid bogus companies offering "easy loans".
Leicester City Council's trading standards service said the illegal loans are being advertised either online or by text messages.
They offer quick loans to customers with poor credit ratings without the need for a credit check.
Many of the loans request fees up front and can take the first month's instalment in advance.
Trading standards officers have received a number of complaints where customers have not received the promised loan and have not heard from the business again.
Leicester resident Anthony Simpson told trading standards officers that he made an online application for a £5,000 loan and was instructed to send a £300 fee to India by money transfer.
He was told that his loan would be in his bank account on 19 June.
When the money failed to appear in his account he contacted Trading Standards who traced the company to India, but failed to resolve the matter.
Cllr Sarah Russell, Leicester City Council cabinet member, said: "These companies are targeting the poor and vulnerable by offering quick and easy non-status loans for an upfront fee.
"We have looked into these businesses and found that they are money grabbing scams."
People can check whether a money lender has a credit licence by making a search on the Office of Fair Trading public register website, she added.