Trouble over interpersonal loan triggered by SNS or bulletin board site
- I was short of money for living expenses. Being unable to find anyone to borrow money from, I posted a message on a bulletin board site "I'm looking for someone who can lend me some money", and there was a reply to my message. I met the person who had replied to me and borrowed 150,000 yen in total. Although I have repaid more than 500,000 yen to this date, the person further demanded 4,000,000 yen. The person knows my postal address. What should I do?
- (man in his 50s)
- I fell behind in my payment for mobile phone charges. Being unable to find anyone to borrow money from, I solicited for someone who would lend me money on SNS and I found a lender. After exchanging messages, I decided to borrow 1,000,000 yen from the person. The person told me to pay 200,000 yen as a deposit, and I did so. Later, I lost touch with the person. I suspect I got ripped off.
- (woman in her 20s)
Problems and advice
Local consumer affairs centers and the like across Japan have received numerous inquiries and complaints about interpersonal loan from a stranger through SNS or a bulletin board site. In some cases, such loans were made at illegal high interest rates. Bear the following precautions in mind.
(1) Interpersonal loan offers posted on SNS or a bulletin board site are risky. Do not borrow money from an online acquaintance.
Even if you can borrow money from a stranger for a while through SNS or a bulletin board site, you may be demanded to pay extremely high interest rates which may not be payable. What is worse, some consumers were not able to borrow money although they paid a deposit. Some lenders demand borrowers to send their seminude or nude photos as a condition for financing.
Even if a message says "interpersonal loan", anyone intending to lend money repeatedly is required to be registered as a money lending business. Money lending business without registration is against the Money Lending Business Act (Article 3-1 and Article 11-1). Some loan sharks lend money at illegal high rates, pretending to offer "interpersonal loan" on SNS. Moreover, personal information may be misused. Never borrow money from a stranger through SNS or a bulletin board site.
(2) If you are worried about multiple debts, use municipal assistance services or consult your local consumer affairs center.
If you are worried about multiple debts, use municipal assistance services or consult your local consumer affairs center. Some bar associations provide consulting services free of charge. These services may be of help to resolving financial problems.
- "Do not borrow money from someone you met on SNS!" released on NCAC's website in June 2019 (English version)
- "Do not borrow money from someone you met on SNS!" released on NCAC's website in June 2019 (Japanese version)