speedy cash scams

Rapid cash may sound like the solution you need, especially if facing a financial emergency. However, speedy cash services can get a little tricky when looking for loan options online and sometimes in person. 

There are all kinds of speedy cash scams out there and it can be difficult to spot if you don’t know what to look for. Continue reading to learn more about avoiding credit scams, so you can protect yourself. 

Types of Speedy Cash Scams

Loan fraud, sometimes called speedy cash scams, affects thousands of consumers a year. According to the FTC, Americans lost a total of $8.8 billion due to scams and fraud.1 Below are a few types of cash scams every consumer should be aware of: 

Guaranteed Approval 

One major red flag to look out for is guaranteed approval. No reputable lender ensures that a borrower will be approved, so most of the time, guaranteed approval means a shady lender. Many false speedy cash lenders will guarantee approval as a way of phishing for your personal information or stealing money through your personal account. 

Look Out for Fake Companies Posing as Legitimate Ones

Something that fake lenders will do is pose as a legitimate lender or alter the name of a legitimate company a little bit to confuse you. If you ever need to confirm the legitimacy of a loan company or creditor who calls or emails, head online and find the contact information of the actual company and call or email their accounts department. With this confirmation, you can figure out whether the person trying to contact you was a scammer or not. 

Asking for Money in Advance

One of the most common cash scams you will find with loans is when a scammer asks for payment upfront. Many loans have origination fees, but they are paid after a contract is signed and don’t include roundabout payment methods. Here are the common strategies that scammers will use when asking for money (posing as a loan lender}: 

Asking for a Money Order or a Money Wire

A money order is something that you have to pay for before it gets sent. Many scammers will ask for this option because they don’t need much to pick it up, and once that money is sent, there is no way you can dispute it. Typical money order retailers they will ask for include Western Union and Walmart. Asking for a money wire is another common tactic. This is where money is sent directly from one bank account to another, and just like money order, their disputes are incredibly challenging, usually impossible. 

Requesting Money Through a Prepaid Card or Bank Account

Another way a fraudster may ask for money is via prepaid cards, usually Visas, Amex cards, or Mastercards. Once you load the cash and send the card, the money is theirs to use. No reputable lender should ask you to load up a prepaid debit card

Asking for a Check Deposit 

One common speedy cash scam used to get money is sending a fake check with a surplus of money. From here, a speedy cash scammer will ask you to deposit the check but claim that because they sent you too much money, you need to send some back to them. But that check will bounce, leaving you without any funds and money paid to the speedy cash scammer. 

Sending an Application or Documents Before You Apply

For many fake lenders getting your information is just as valuable as getting money. And so, many speedy cash scammers will try to get your information by sending you loan documents to fill out. That way, they can access your sensitive personal details once you “submit your application”. Most loan applications require your name, address, birth date, and social security number, which can be used for all kinds of financial activity. 

Sending Unsolicited Phone Calls and Emails

Another way that speedy cash scammers will try and get you to send information or money is by calling or emailing you about a loan or offer you never applied for. Most of the time, these scammers will pose as a collector or lender for an unpaid debt.

Offers That Sound Too Good To Be True

When a loan offer sounds too good to be true, it often is. Look out for things like guaranteed funds, 0% interest rates, a substantial loan amount, etc. When you see any of these types of claims, you should avoid applying for these types of loans as they are often cash scams. 

Threatening Phone Calls or Emails

One thing a legitimate company will not do is threaten you for outstanding debt. Many fake lenders will use threats to intimidate their victims by posing as debt collection specialists or companies. They may use phrases like “your last and final chance,” “having your wages confiscated,” or even go as far as saying they will show up at your doorstep. Don’t fall for it! A legitimate lender would not use threats of any kind, as it is unethical and can mean legal consequences for them. 

If you are scammed out of money or a victim of identity theft, you may be able to press legal charges. However, even with legal or criminal action, you may not be guaranteed your money back or your identity safe. Legal proceedings can be costly and time-consuming, so many people avoid the lawsuit route.

Legitimate Lenders vs. Speedy Cash Scammers

CriteriaLegitimate LendersPotential Scam Tactics
Approval ProcessConducts a credit check or assesses your ability to repay the loan. Guarantees approval without a credit check. 
Upfront FeesDoes not ask for fees upfront. Asks for fees or payment upfront. 
ContactHas verifiable physical address and customer service line. Contacts you out of the blue, often via unsolicited phone calls or emails. 
RepaymentClearly outlines repayment terms in a contract. Uses vague language about repayment, may pressure you to act quickly. 
LicensingRegistered in the state where they operate. No proof of registration or licensing. 

How to Avoid Speedy Cash Scams

To avoid falling for fraud scams, you can take the following precautions:

  • Research Lenders Before You Apply: Check for a business address, customer service line, and registration in your state. It may even be a good idea to call around and speak to representatives who work for the lender you are thinking about applying with. 
  • Check Out Reviews: Read speedy cash reviews to see what kind of experience other borrowers had.  
  • Keep Personal Info Private: Never give personal information (income info, social security number, etc.) to anybody you aren’t familiar with. 
  • Beware of Guaranteed Approval: No lender can ever 100% guarantee loan approval without reviewing your financial information first. 
  • Never Pay Upfront: Look out for lenders who claim to require fees or payments upfront. The purpose of applying for a loan is so you can get money right away, not the lender! 
  • Check if the Lender’s Website is Secure: The website URL should start with “https://” and display a padlock symbol in the address bar. 
  • Understand Your Loan Terms: Before you sign any kind of loan contract, be sure to read the loan agreement carefully. Have your lender explain anything you are unsure of, and never sign a contract you feel uncomfortable with. 
  • Report Suspicious Activity: If your lender displays predatory or illegal behavior, report them to the authorities right away. Your report may save yourself as well as other people from getting scammed. 

How Do I Protect Myself if I Am a Victim of Speedy Cash Scams or Identity Theft?

Identity theft is a serious crime, and if you are a victim, it can throw your finances upside down. According to the FTC, approximately 204,967 reports were filed in 2020 due to loan or lease fraud!2 Here are some ways of protecting yourself if your identity is stolen:

  • Contact the Credit Reporting Agencies — Most speedy cash scammers will try and use your personal information to access credit accounts. However, you can freeze your credit by contacting the 3 credit bureaus. With a credit freeze in place, scammers cannot open any new accounts.
  • File a Police Report — Filing a police report with your local county sheriff department/police station/law enforcement office etc., will accomplish a few things; it may help identify the person responsible. And it will help you prove identity theft when writing your dispute letters to creditors. 
  • Get a Copy of Each Credit Report — Checking your credit reports after identity theft is crucial. It will help you see the extent of damage a speedy cash scammer has done to your credit and can give you a starting point of where to start fixing it. 
  • Freeze Your Bank Account — If a speedy cash scammer has access to your bank account, you can contact your bank and ask them to freeze your account temporarily while you figure out the next steps. This can prevent any additional money from being lost. Replacing your debit card is easy, but things can get more complicated with a bank account. Some people even switch to a new bank account, which is definitely an option to consider. 
  • Opt-in for Text Message Security (2 Factor Authentication) for Your Financial Accounts — Once a speedy cash scammer has your personal information, it can be easy for them to login into your financial accounts. One way to protect yourself is to set up two-factor authentication with your phone. That way, even with your passwords, only you can log into your accounts and access that information. 

What Loans Have the Most Speedy Cash Scams?

Usually, bad credit loan options like a payday loan may have the most speedy cash scams because they are often targeted at those who may have no other opportunity and because they have all the characteristics that speedy cash requires—an easy application and fast cash. The loan agreement for payday loans is pretty simple; you borrow funds for a few weeks and make the minimum payments until the loan is paid off, usually within two weeks. Because of this simplicity, many speedy cash scammers may lean towards posing as payday loan organizations. You will find other common speedy cash fraud with personal loans, title loans, mortgages, and credit cards. 

Are There Safer Alternatives to Payday Loans?

Loan TypeDescription
Installment LoansA loan that is repaid over time with a set number of scheduled payments. Interest rates are often lower than payday loans. 
Personal Loans from a Bank or Credit UnionThese loans often have lower interest rates and more flexible repayment terms than payday loans. They may require a good credit score. 
Secured Loans (Title Loans, Home Equity Loans, etc.)These loans are backed by collateral, such as your car or home. They often have lower interest rates but come with the risk of losing the collateral if you can’t repay the loan. 
Credit CardsCredit cards allow you to borrow money up to a certain limit to purchase items or withdraw cash. While they often have higher interest rates than some of the other options, they can be a good option for small, short-term loans. 
Loans from Family or Friends Borrowing money from family or friends can be a good option as it often doesn’t involve interest. However, it can lead to strained relationships if you can’t repay the loan. 

FAQ Speedy Cash Scams

What is a speedy cash payday scam?

A speedy cash payday scam is a fraudulent scheme where speedy cash scammers pose as payday lenders to trick borrowers into giving them money or personal information. They often promise guaranteed approval or quick cash, which are red flags as no legitimate lender can guarantee approval without a proper credit check.

How can I identify a legitimate payday lender?

Legitimate payday lenders will have a physical address, a working customer service line, and will be registered in the state where they operate. They will never guarantee approval without a credit check or ask for payment upfront. Always verify the lender’s information before providing any personal details.

Are installment loans also targeted by speedy cash scammers?

Yes, installment loans can also be targeted by speedy cash scammers. Just like with payday loans, be wary of lenders who guarantee approval, ask for payment upfront, or have no verifiable physical address or customer service line.

How can I protect my bank account from speedy cash scams?

Never give out your bank account details to a lender who contacts you out of the blue, guarantees approval without a credit check, or asks for payment upfront. If you’ve been scammed, contact your bank immediately to report the fraud and protect your account.

What should I do if I’ve fallen victim to a speedy cash payday loan scam?

If you’ve fallen victim to a payday loan scam, report it to your local law enforcement agency and your state’s attorney general. Contact your bank to secure your accounts, and consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report.

Can I get payday loans without a checking account?

Most payday cash advance loans require a bank account as it allows them to easily deposit the loan and take the repayment on the due date. However, some lenders offer payday loans with a prepaid debit card for those who don’t have a checking account.

CreditNinja’s Thoughts on Loan Options and Cash Scams

When you’re going through a financial emergency, it makes sense that the last thing you would have time for is researching lenders to avoid predatory lenders or potential scams. But, by knowing some basic warning signs you can identify sketchy lender behavior and protect yourself from getting scammed by a short term loan online.

CreditNinja also suggests considering your other options before you apply for any kind of loan. There are some options that may allow you to get the cash you need without ever having to apply for a loan! That means you won’t have to deal with applications, hard credit checks, fees, or interest payments! Some non-loan options you may consider are: 

  • Organizing Your Budget: Depending on your financial situation, you may find that honing in your spending and tightening up your budget is enough to free up the extra cash you need. Do you often find yourself eating out instead of cooking at home? Or, do you notice that you have a habit or impulsive spending when you are out? These are behaviors you may want to work on that can help you make the most of your current budget. 
  • Dip Into Your Savings: If you have a savings account, consider using part of those funds to pay for your current expenses. You don’t have to completely clear out your savings, but using a portion of them can help you reduce costs and avoid the need for an additional loan. 
  • Get a Second Job: If you don’t have the money in your current budget to cover your expenses, you may consider getting a temporary part-time job. If you don’t have tons of free time there are even remote jobs where you can complete work at any time of the day or night
  • Ask a Friend or Family Member: Another solution you may consider is asking a trusted friend or family member for a short-term loan. If you do decide to ask someone in your life for a loan, be sure to include as much information as possible. Let them know exactly how much you need, and when you will be able to fully repay them. 

Looking for more information on loans, avoiding scams, and handling your finances? Check out the CreditNinja blogroll for tons of free financial resources available 24/7!

References:

  1. New FTC Data Show Consumers Reported Losing Nearly $8.8 Billion to Scams in 2022
  2. Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2020
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