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Nigerians, beware of Facebook account impersonating Polaris Bank and offering fake loans

IN SHORT: In this tough economic climate, Nigerians seeking loans are advised to tread carefully when applying online. This is another Facebook account impersonating a bank and offering fake loans. It also has a web page that appears to be after the user’s personal and banking details.

The Facebook page Polaris digital claims to offer loans of up to N15 million to Nigerians. The page uses the name of Polaris Bank, a company licensed to provide financial services to the Nigerian public.

One of its posts, dated 13 May 2023, reads: “Apply For Business Loan And Personal Loan Without Documentations,Collaterals Or Guarantor From POLARIS BANK LTD.”

The post has been liked by more than 2,000 users, with over 25 comments. It also has a website link attached to it.

Similar posts can be found here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

But is this loan offer legit? We checked.


Fake Facebook account 

One of the common signs of a scam on Facebook is posts that are written poorly. A legitimate company would be expected to publish well-written posts, with good command of the English language.

The bank’s page, which is verified by Meta, is Polaris Bank Ltd. It does not have a separate account for its lending services. The official page has over 280,000 followers, much more than the suspicious account, with just 16. 

Beware of phishing attempts

The posts by the suspicious page link to a website, seemingly in an attempt to gain access to customers' accounts. The website features a form asking for the user’s account number, PIN, and bank app password. This information would give someone access to a person’s account and falling for this trick could see users lose their hard-earned money, instead of acquiring a loan.

In a June 2023 post on Twitter (now known as X), the bank warned users: “Polaris Bank will never ask you for your PIN, Passwords, Card PAN or CVV via phone call, email or SMS.”

In another post, the bank listed its verified social media accounts and said any other variations of its handles were a scam.

Africa Check has unveiled several fake loan schemes on Facebook here, here and here.

To help protect yourself and others against scams like this, see Africa Check’s guide to Facebook scams and how to spot them.

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