Service providers say they will assist customers in borrowing bank loans while what they actually do is steal the latter’s service fees.
While the fraudulent companies claim they have relationships with many banks, the credit institutions assert that they have nothing to do with such services.
In mid-November 2012, Le Thi Kim Thu, a small trader at Ba Chieu Market in Binh Thanh district, came across a flyer for Tan Huynh Gia Co. Ltd., which said it could assist customers in “borrowing unsecured loans at affordable interest rates and reasonable service fees.”
The flyers were scattered around a number of small markets in the city.
As Thu was in need of money for sourcing new stock to embrace the Tet season, she immediately visited the company, headquartered at 329 Man Thien in District 9. There, Thu was persuaded by the company’s consultants, which led to her paying a fee of VND3 million to contract Tan Huynh Gia Co. Ltd. to borrow VND50 million worth of unsecured loans for her.
The contract had a term of 30 days, but Thu has since failed to get her money, she said.
“They repeatedly asked me to wait, and told me that they had filed my loan application at HSBC,” she told Tuoi Tre.
“The contract said I would get my loan within a month, but now four months have passed and I have received neither my loan nor my money back.”
But Thu is not the only victim. A number of other customers flock to Tan Huynh Gia’s headquarters these days, asking for their money back.
These people all paid fees ranging from VND2 million to VND5 million, but none of them have accessed the loans as promised, they said.
“I paid the service fee and supplied all the necessary papers, but the loans are nowhere to be seen,” Nguyen Trong, one of the customers, said angrily.
Trong said the company had claimed that he would surely receive the loan, otherwise he would be refunded.
“Neither of these promises has happened,” he said.
Banks not involved
Tan Huynh Gia Co. says on its website, modfagroup.com, that the company has links with many major banks, including Techcombank, ANZ, and HSBC.
However, an HSBC representative told Tuoi Tre that the bank has no relationship with Tan Huynh Gia.
“HSBC will ask the company to remove its logo and misleading information on the website,” he said.
“Customers should work directly with HSBC in regards to lending applications rather than using a third-party service,” he advised.
ANZ bank also denied having any relation to the company.
According to the Ho Chi Minh City’s Department of Planning and Investment, Tan Huynh Gia Co. Ltd. was founded in July 2008, with a registered capital of VND37 billion.
The company registered to operate in as many as 49 sectors, including manufacturing, trading, construction, real-estate, brewery, and transporting. But lending service is not in the list.
Tuoi Tre attempted to contact the company on Tuesday, but could only meet chief accountant Nguyen Thi Ha Nhi, who said the chief officials have been on business trips and refused to answer the media.
Companies operating under similar tricks to Tan Huynh Gia have recently mushroomed in the city.
The companies usually scatter leaflets at crowded places citywide such as hospitals, markets, and residential areas.
“Private lending service. Quick procedure, get money in three days,” one of the leaflets reads.
Our correspondent contacted K., whose phone number is displayed on the ads.
K. said he has links with a number of private banks, so customers can borrow as much as they wish.
“The interest rate is 1.2 percent a month, and customers have to pay a fee equal to 6 percent of the money they are to borrow,” he said.
Meanwhile, many banks have asserted that they do not have connections to any third-party lending services.