Phoenix Credit, Speedy loan, and Swift Loan are all scam operations under one fintech going by the name Orange valley on Google play store.
All these three loan apps operate their scam with the same method as they are owned and operated by the same individuals.
Most of the loan apps in Nigeria are unregulated by the government. Individuals just buy a loan software on the internet and use it to run their operations. Because they are unregulated, they often resort to crude methods to recover their loans like threatening to defame their customers to their friends and families.
As unprofessional and crude as these loan sharks are, they at the very least do provide loans for emergencies, albeit at extortionate interest. Now there’s a proliferation of scammers in Nigeria who design loan apps with the exclusive intension of stealing from the public.
Here’s how the scam works
So you come across this loan app online that is promising to give a a loan. They are offering up to ₦200,000 in collateral free loans but the interest is a little bit high, which is the case with most loan sharks, so you go ahead to provide all your details anyways.
The registration process is smooth, but in the end, you are asked to bind your ATM card to your account as a means of repayment before you get the loan. This is the standard practice by most legit loan apps and even loan sharks, most charge a token not more than 50 naira. These three apps charge binding amounts starting from 350 naira, and they might encourage you to pay multiple times promising that would speed up your loan disbursement.
That is the scam, these three loan apps – Phoenix Credit, Speedy loan, and Swift Loan are all scam operations, they don’t give any loans, they will just collect the card binding charges and put your application in pending review or ask you to reapply again and repay the charges. It doesn’t stop their, these apps also encourage their victims to write positive reviews about them on play store and give them 5 star reviews so they can seem legit to other victims.
Swift Loan app has over 10k downloads so far on the play store. Most of it victims are giving the app 5 star reviews thinking that would fast track their loan disbursement. Not knowing that they have been scammed.
Phoenix Credit Loan app on its part also has about 10k downloads. “Have applied for the loan but it was pending since and the app was referred to me by a friend that it’s a very great loan very good and low interest”, wrote one 5 star reviewer, most likely another scam victim tricked into giving 5 stars.
The last of the three scam is Speedy loan – Instant loans. One user wrote “I try applying for a loan from you people there was no approval and yet I was debited #380 naira for the service fee or what, this happened twice why. I even send a mail to you people(speedy loan) and yet no response till now, you people(speedy loan) are scam!!!”
What should I do if I have already entered my ATM card details in a scam loan app?
If they have already removed some money from your bank account or you have already provided your card details to such scam loan apps, all you can do now is to block your card immediately. you can report to your bank immediately or find out how you can block your particular bank card through self help. some banks have ATM card blocking feature on their mobile app. Note that changing your password alone might not be enough, you have to block online and POS transactions on the card.
How to detect a fake loan app
- Loan apps asking for KYC information including your BVN and asking you to bind your ATM card to your account is normal, but when an app is asking you to make upfront payments or pay for processing fee, such an app is most likely a scam.
- Always read other customer’s review on play store or read reviews on websites like this before downloading any loan app.
- If an app does not have a contact phone number, or the phone number is not functional, that is a redflag.
- Pay attention to fake reviews on Google play store, most of this apps pay spammers to write reviews for them. Most of the reviews will be from foreign accounts and will mostly give the app a five star without any reasonable comment.
- Don’t part with money for what ever reason before getting your loan.
- there are a lots of loan sharks operating without regulation in Nigeria, know that Playstore does not rigorously verify this apps, it is up to you to do your research before doing business with them.
- When providing your ATM card details as a means of repayment, make sure you are entering your details in a reputable payment gateway like Flutterwave or Paystack. Pay attention to the page URL before entering your card details.