New Delhi: Entrepreneurs and businessmen looking for cheaper loans for new projects need to be on guard with white collar criminals on the prowl.  

Financial fraudsters have floated several fake companies that advertise in leading newspapers about offering loans at cheaper rates than banks. These companies promise huge savings but fall into their trap and you will end up with a massive hole in your bank account.

According to the police, these criminals are running pan-India loan syndicates targeting new entrepreneurs, start-ups and businessmen, who are looking for funds for their new ventures. To trap their victims, the fraudsters offer loan against no collateral deposits and at an interest rate which is 5% lower than that provided by banks. 

The revelation came after Uttar Pradesh Police arrested a gang of scamsters from Chennai. Explaining the modus operandi of the fraudsters, SP of Auraiya district, Triveni Singh, said, “The gang used to advertise their company in leading newspapers. They offered 5% cheaper interest rates than banks and zero collateral loans.” He added that to sound genuine the criminals carried out site inspections and document verifications as well.

According to the police, those behind the syndicates had also acquired certification from the ministry of corporate affairs and used to target entrepreneurs who wanted big loans for their projects.

Police said that in January this year, a doctor named Brijesh Kumar had approached them with a complaint of being duped of Rs 32 lakh. He was contacted by one Kartikeyan who had his firm in Chennai. After initial talks, Kartikeyan called the victim to his office in Chennai and assured him of a Rs 10-crore loan. Kumar was not asked to furnish a collateral, but Kartikeyan said that Kumar would have to pay Rs 2 lakh for a site visit and an additional charge of Rs 5 lakh for getting his documents verified by the court.

A site visit was made and Kumar’s papers were verified, which made him confident that his loan will be approved soon. To extract more money, the scamster then sent a scanned copy of a draft of Rs 10 crore, but before transferring the loan amount, Kumar was asked to send advance interest of three months. The victim agreed to it,  believing that it will facilitate the loan.

Singh explained that once the victim falls into the trap, the fraudsters demand money at each stage but never gave them the loan amount. Victims keep paying the money expecting that they will get a huge loan without having to furnish any collateral security.

Auraiya police had received several complaints after which they began their crackdown and busted the gang which was operating from Chennai. Police found these firms to be fake as they had no approval from the RBI. The police are scanning the bank account of the fraudsters and have found transactions running in several crores of rupees. The firm operated by Kartikeyan has been found to have duped more than 50 people.