A group of secretive TikTok advertisers use rough tactics to say that experts can violate deceptive advertising practices. The Post learned that it was pushing a large loan.
Some ads, despite their low creditworthiness, make fun of five-digit deposits "almost instantly", while they are part of the government's "inflation program", such as CNN. Some appear to use the news agency logo.
Clicking on many advertising links Underfunded borrowers are asked for sensitive personal information such as social security numbers and bank account numbers.
"At best, these videos are designed to give up information that shouldn't lead to more solicitations," said John Breio, vice president of the National Consumers League advocacy group. Told the post. "In the worst case, this is a complete scam designed to steal your money and information for fraudulent purposes."
One typical TikTok loan ad is in the US Capitol. It begins with a shot of the words "US Government Inflation Program 2022" above the video.
I will support Americans. I will take out a loan even if I have bad credit. " "You can earn up to $ 50,000 just by filling out a simple form."
Next, the ad is from the perspective of someone who has a pile of $ 100 bills in their car. It will be cut into shots from.
"I spend my money to cover invoices, and for the rest of the year I get gas and cover my medical needs," says Narration. "Click the link below to fill out the form within 60 seconds to see how much you will earn. Thank you later."
"Lavish Finances" When you click on the link that leads to the site, you will be asked to enter personal information such as bank account details, social security number and address in the form.
Lavish Finances states that it will forward the applicant's information to the lender. Lenders can accommodate up to 35.99% annual interest rate loan proposals for up to 4 years. If someone takes out a loan under the site's maximum requirements ($ 50,000 repayment with 35.99% APR in 4 years), the user will end up with a hook of over $ 137,000.
Mr. Brayard said the loan was advertised on Lavish Finances and similar sites. It's "terrible" for the majority of consumers who say they have been.
"35.99% APR is higher than some of the best credit card loans out there," he said.
Breio and Bartlett Naylor, monetary policy advocates of the consumer rights group Public Citizen, said advertising was at risk of violating the Federal Trade Commission's rules on false advertising.
"It's implied If you click on the program it's government, it's not a government program. My advice is, "You're scammed."
After The Post contacted TikTok for comment on ads from Lavish Finances and other companies, social media sites went into an advertising policy that banned "misunderstanding, fraudulent, deceptive behaviour." I removed them because I violated them.
When a post sent an email asking for comment to the only email address available on the Lavish Finances website, the message was returned. The phone number listed on the site was sent directly to a full voice mailbox. The Lavish Finances site lists the address of a building in Dover, Delaware that sells "Virtual Office Services" for $ 50 per month.
The FTC said it did not comment on "whether you are investigating a particular company, individual, or business practice." The agency has not published any proceedings against any of the sites in this article, buthasfrequent proceedingsClaims to be affiliated with the US government of a company that the agency states is incorrect.
Lavish Finances is not the only advertiser using suspicious techniques on TikTok. Ads that link to a site called PersonalLoanPro show what looks like a fake CNN segment. The "latest news" flashes, "Americans can now charge up to $ 50,000."
"They are showing it again," he says, pointing at the television showing the segment. "This is how I got my money."
Then, as he says, the camera turns to the man's face. "A new offer was just released last week and Americans can charge up to $ 50,000. No credit history required. No banking requirements. I did it myself, but I got $ 8,000 in two days.
A similar Facebook version of the video wasflattering, which displayed a "false information" warning in May, but as of mid-June. So it was advertised on TikTok. Disclosure.
Other links to PersonalLoanPro features Advertising Various narrators are in a hurry to receive cash through the site. First, when a female narrator approaches a man and says, "Babe, where did you get that money?", The text "I got $ 45,000 almost instantly" appears on the screen. It shows.
The man displays his online banking account on his mobile phone and says: I just got a $ 45,000 loan, which is already in our bank account.
In another ad, a male narrator sitting in a car raises a wad of hundreds of dollars and a loan is "a last-minute miracle I absolutely needed." If there is, it will spurt out.
Like Lavish Finances, PersonalLoanPro asks people to enter sensitive information such as social security numbers. It will then be referred to lenders who may offer loans at APR rates of up to 35.99% for up to 15 years.
"Basically, they say something like" Nobody else knows about this, I wish I knew about this sooner "-and they I'll show you a pile of cash, "Breio said. "At first glance, it's a common tactic."
According to the PersonalLoanPro site, it's owned by a company called OnTheBarrelhead, based in Durango, Colorado. Email inquiries sent to both PersonalLoanPro and OnTheBarrelhead were unanswered, but calls to phone numbers from the OnTheBarrelhead site were sent directly to Voicemail.