Friday, 24 June 2016

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Is this a real loan?

I have read your articles with keen interest and I am convinced you are doing a great job.

I would therefore like to inquire if I can forward some details of a so called international lending financial institution to authenticate before a lot of Batswana fall victims. I have personally applied for the Loan of BWP1 000 000 which has been approved but ought to be released with strings attached to it. They said “We can give you this loan on a 120 months requirement with an interest rate of 2% per year”. I doubted the authenticity just looking at the e-mail addresses which I feel anybody can create ( and the manner in which the simplicity of the Loan was approved albeit without any hassles that you might expect for the Loan amounting to that tune.

Please kindly look at this and should you be willing to help I will forward you the details and my limited luck whilst trying to establish if the financial institution was fake or true through an Embassy in Botswana.

You are very wise to be skeptical about this loan offer. I wish more people checked these things before committing themselves.

This is without doubt the beginning of an advance fee scam. There are various clues that suggest this. Firstly, you were right to notice the email address. Real lenders use credible email addresses. They don’t operate from Gmail addresses, they use their own domain. Secondly, real lenders don’t lend vast amounts of money to people they’ve never met in the flesh and have only spoken to by email. They certainly don’t lend money at only 2% per year. None of this adds up.

If you were to proceed with this fake loan, you will certainly be asked to send the lender money before you receive the money they’re promising you. They’ll say it’s for a legal bill, an account opening fee or some other excuse. Whatever it is, that’s the “advance fee” that gives the scam its name. That’s what it’s all about.

Please, whatever you do, don’t send these scumbags any money. You’ll never see it again. Remember that scammers don’t offer refunds!

They didn’t pay my tax!

Please advise. I have a registered company and my company was owing annual tax returns while I was in South Africa in 2014. When I came back in 2015 I found that it had incurred penalties so I started paying them in installments to my company secretary. The 2014 returns and 2015 returns as well as penalties totaled to about P2,500.

Unfortunately the company secretary's did not pay my annual returns and used the money on their personal matters, so my company is still owing. 2016 tax returns will be due soon and 2014 and 2015 have not been settled, Its been a year and they always promising "we'll settle it next week" but never do... What can I do, please help.

Firstly, I think you should report this issue to BURS. It won’t help to pay your tax liabilities but it might warn BURS that these so-called company secretaries can’t be trusted. They might also be understanding about your situation and will likely agree to a repayment schedule you can manage.

You should then write the so-called Company Secretaries a letter saying that they no longer have permission to act on your behalf and that you demand that they compensate you for any losses you have suffered as a result of their failure to honour their contractual obligations. I suggest you tell them NOT to pay anything to BURS but to repay it to you directly so you can be sure BURS get paid. Give them 14 days to repay you and state very clearly that you will take immediate legal action against them if they fail to do so.

On Day 15, if they fail to repay you, go immediately to the Small Claims Court with all the paperwork you have and ask for an order against them for the money you lost.

Hopefully this might encourage them to do the decent thing. If it doesn’t visit your local police station and lay a charge of obtaining by false pretense against these crooks. That might shake them up a bit.

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