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Be wary of mobile phone loan offers, says NBC

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
A user browsing through a mobile phone. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The National Bank of Cambodia (NBC), in a media release yesterday, urged the public to be wary of companies or individuals promising loans via the mobile network system.

The NBC’s statement said some companies or individuals are using the mobile network to spread messages or SMS to the public promising they will provide loans without collateral and documents and saying the loan processing will be fast or it is available in the capital city and in other provinces.

“The sending of SMS through mobile phone offering quick loans without documents or collateral in Phnom Penh as well as in the provincial towns and cities in Cambodia is illegal and is against the banking and finance laws.

“NBC has never given any licenses to such companies or individuals who are offering the loan services through the mobile networks.

“The public should be aware and be careful in avoiding the use of informal lending services which are risky because the public could end up getting cheated by these money lenders,” the statement said.

Im Vutha, a spokesman for the Telecommunications Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), told Khmer Times the sending of SMS to people via mobile phone offering such loans is fraudulent and are cheating activities. He lamented the fact that they are using technology to spread false information.

“The General Commissariat of National Police will take action as it is a case of flagrante delicto if there are complaints and enough evidence on such cheating cases” Mr Vutha said, adding that, “So far we have not received any complaints from the National Bank of Cambodia to TRC or the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication.”

Mr Vutha said to his knowledge telecom or mobile operators have never aided financial or payment companies that are not registered with the National Bank of Cambodia or the Ministry of Economy and Finance.

“The use of technology to spread out the SMS is what we call an abuse of the networks. The use of technology to spread out SMS or messages through messenger or social media networks by these fraudsters is not our fault.

“What we can do now is to call on the people to be careful and to be wise in deciding whether they want to get involved in those scams,” he said.

According to the TRC, as of August there were more than 19 million Sim Cards connected to mobile devices for a population of 16 million, while over 12 million Sim Cards are connected to the internet. It also said there were seven million Facebook users in Cambodia.

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