Fijians have been warned against a notorious con artist known to operate a bogus financial service promising quick cash loans.

The Consumers Council of Fiji yesterday issued a new alert advising all consumers in the country not to engage with Global Finance Ltd (GFL) – operated by one Mr Bridge.

According to the board, GFL – which previously operated as Potential Business Solutions – claims to provide financial services, take deposits and provide loans that never materialize once deposits are received.

It has been established that this unscrupulous operation was first discovered in 2020, which the council says has since scammed many Fijians under the pretext that it will provide immediate loans after payment of down payments and dues.

“The modus operandi of this company consists of touring the communities and leading numerous workshops; attract people with different products that they have to offer only to disappear when deposits have been received for the so-called loan products. Many follow-ups of affected people have been ignored and their cell phone numbers blocked, ”said Seema Shandil, CEO of the Consumers Council of Fiji, in a statement.

“Recent consumer complaints and subsequent inquiries by the Council have revealed that Global Finance is still operating actively and that Fijians are still victims of the frontage orchestrated by this company. “

Ms Shandil said the board has received more than 20 complaints against GFL in the past eight months, with nearly $ 24,000 in monetary value lost to consumers.

The latest case filed with the board involved a consumer who paid $ 4,565 in membership fees and on deposit to secure a $ 15,500 loan, before being ghosted by the business owner.

“The operator of Global Finance uses his charm, communication and persuasion skills to extract cash deposits from consumers for quick loans; which never succeeds. The individual in question is a notorious con artist who roams and prey on vulnerable communities across Fiji; including rural and maritime areas and recent cases reveal that Taveuni and Savusavu are its target areas.

The Reserve Bank of Fiji also issued a statement in November warning consumers against Global Finance, and that it was not an approved depository agency in Fiji and should not solicit, accept or give any form of deposits. of the general public.

Ms Shandil said the council referred the complaints to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Fijian Police Force for investigation and that they were working closely with the department to protect Fijian consumers.