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FCA urges Brits to watch out for loan fee fraud

With Brits under increasing financial strain this summer, the Financial Conduct Authority is urging Brits to watch out for signs of loan fee fraud.

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FCA urges Brits to watch out for loan fee fraud

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According to a survey for the regulator, 55% of UK adults 55% are more worried about personal finances this summer than they were last year as rising food and energy costs take a toll and are compounded by seasonal expenses such as holidays.

This is driving many to fund summer spending either through savings or credit. According to the research, 18% of Brits will use savings to fund summer spending, and a quarter turning to credit or loans.

The FCA is warning of the dangers of loan fee fraud - where a victim pays a fee for a loan they never receive. This type of fraud, which typically results in a £260 loss, usually peaks in the summer months and is growing year on year.

The FCA’s data shows that last summer, there was a 26% increase in complaints from consumers who had fallen victim to loan fee fraud compared to 2021.

Brits should be wary about cold calls or emails, any request for an upfront fee, and if they are asked to pay quickly or unusually.

Steve Smart, executive director, enforcement and market oversight, FCA, says: "For many, summer brings with it the chance to relax and unwind but it also brings with it financial pressures - from holidays and festivals to funding days out, or out of term childcare for parents. With inflation, energy costs, and rising mortgage bills, this summer spending will come at a time of enhanced vulnerability for many."

"For fraudsters, this provides the perfect opportunity to take advantage of people considering how to make ends meet over the summer months."

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