Saturday, 27 May 2017

The Voice - Consumer's Voice

Do I have a case?

I have an issue which I need advice on. A few years ago I borrowed four grand from a cash loan and whilst I had no job I went to the owner and informed him I don't work anymore then he said I should pay if I can so I started paying 500,100,1500. And that's 2013. While I was at some company for a little while some sheriff comes and instructs me to pay all the amount which I owe or else I will be put to jail. I ended up paying 13,000 but now my question is was it lawful for me to be charged so much? If I have a case who can I consult to assist me because I believe I wasn't charged accordingly. I asked him to find my file but he keeps giving me silly excuses.

Oh yes, you certainly have a case. And this cash loan company has a case to answer.

Here’s something this loan shark, sorry, I mean microlender, seems to have overlooked. The “in duplum” rule. This piece of common law says that when you settle a debt the interest charged cannot be greater than the outstanding capital amount you owe. So if you still owed P3,000 from the P4,000 you borrowed the lender can’t charge you more then P3,000 interest on top of the P3,000 you owe. In that example they can’t charge more than P6,000, plus of course any reasonable debt collection costs.

In your case the lender has clearly ignored this. You borrowed P4,000 and even if you never paid them back anything the settlement value can’t be more that P8,000 plus costs. Given that you paid back at least P2,000 these numbers simply don’t work out.

I suggest that you contact NBFIRA, the Non Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority who oversee and regulate the micro-lending industry. Go and see them and ask them to investigate the lender to see if they can force him to start obeying the rules.

Is this a genuine job offer?

Please help me and tell me if this is a genuine job offer. Air Canada have offered me a job as a Meeting/Event Planner in Canada paying US$71,840 per annum.

No, this is certainly not a genuine job offer, there’s no doubt about it.

There are several clues in the letter they sent you. Firstly, why would a Canadian company offering someone a job in Canada offer a salary in US dollars? And why would they offer a job and then incur the expense of flying someone halfway round the planet when 6.5% of Canadians are currently unemployed?

Other clues are the terrible spelling in the letter (“this offer will laps if it is not accepted”), the fact that they’re using a free email address (not “”) and the extraordinary salary. They want to pay you P750,000 to plan hotel events? I think not.

I’m prepared to bet that you haven’t even been interviewed for this job, have you? I bet it was what they called an “online interview” which involved nothing more than completing a questionnaire and emailing it to them. I bet you haven’t even spoken to anyone either? Tis isn’t how real companies recruit news staff. Real companies interview people face-to-face. Always.

This is the beginning of an advance fee scam. What these people are seeking is a payment they’ll demand from you before you get the job they’re pretending to offer you. It’s usually a “visa fee” they say is necessary before you can travel. If you pay them all that will happen is that they’ll demand more and more money from you and that will only stop when you finally realize you’re being scammed or you run out of money. And remember that scammers don’t offer refunds, they’ll be too busy sending your money to their criminal overlords. And yes, I do mean that. Don’t imagine that these scams are perpetrated by some teenagers in a Lagos internet cafĂ©, this is organized crime.

Please just delete their email and don’t respond to any messages from them.

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