Dozens of fraud victims who had Wonga loans taken in their names and saw their bank accounts raided for more than £30,000 have been met with a wall of silence by the lender.
This is Money has been investigating fraudulent loans taken through Wonga after it was contacted for help on 41 similar cases – but the payday lender refuses to explain how and why the fraud is occurring, or to provide proof that cases have been reported to the police.
Details of the victims have now been passed to the Office of Fair Trading and officials are now looking at the cases as part of their on-going investigation into the payday lending industry.
Steady stream: A total of 41 readers have emailed This is Money about Wonga fraud.
Of most concern is how fraudsters manage to cash in on loans that someone else ends up responsible for, how loans are granted with seemingly minimal personal details and whether every case is being officially reported.
Most victims only became aware of the fraud when the payday lender raided their bank account to make good on its loss.
Payday loans are designed to be a short term solution to a lack of cash that can be repaid when a borrower’s next pay cheque comes through – but they can come at extraordinary cost of more than 4,000 per cent APR.
The loans have attracted the attention of regulators amid reports of bad practice and loans being granted without proper checks on borrowers’ ability to afford repayments. The OFT last week found widespread failures within the industry and issued 50 lenders, including Wonga, with written notice that they have 12 weeks to improve practices or risk losing their credit licence.
Wonga provides short term loans between £1 – £1,000. Its website guarantees cash in your account within 15 minutes, 24-hours a day, if applications are successful.
dailyalternative | alternative news – Wonga leaves dozens of victims without answers