POOR-QUALITY websites and high-pressure sales tactics could be signs of a fraudulent or negligent peer-to-peer lending website, 4th Way claims.
The P2P analysis firm has unveiled a list of checks for investors to spot potential discrepancies and issues with a supposed lender.
Red flags include a poor-quality phone line or lack of contact details, a website that is not secured with “https” in the web address, scant details about their lending record, and poor grammar, spelling or ambiguous information.
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The list also urges investors to look out for information that isn’t backed up by sources, aggressive marketing tactics and cold calls.
4th Way said it had decided to publish the list of “basic checks of fraud, dishonesty, incompetence” after the collapse of Collateral, after it emerged that it did not have the required regulatory permissions.
“Even beginners can do the vast majority of these checks before lending through a P2P lending or IFISA provider to gauge whether there are major discrepancies or issues,” 4th Way said.
“There’s always more room to become more sophisticated, such as learning how to use Companies House and read company accounts in order to gather more information about the directors, the business and its finances.”