Online financial scams: how to avoid the pitfalls?
Every year, many scammers offer to consumers special financial deals on the Internet, social networks, or instant messaging applications. Financial scams are usually followed by technology scam, theft of identity, and many more ways to harm your reputation, and finances. Feedback and advice to avoid the worst are therefore necessary.
Principle of the financial scam
According to the cases which pass through the hands of lawyers, the operating mode is almost the same: to make-believe to those who do not have sufficient resources to borrow money from traditional credit organizations that there are alternative solutions.
You need money; you’re up against the wall: the crooks then provide you with the solution on a silver platter and offer you very advantageous credit.
The interest rate is relatively low, the repayment term quite flexible, and no guarantees or income conditions are required. You bite the hook.
Very quickly, they ask you to pay pseudo administrative fees and/or insurance to be able to release the funds. Little by little, they are becoming more and more greedy.
In the end, you will never see the color of this promised money.
The crooks’ modus operandi
To attract Internet users in financial difficulty, they use different means:
They create websites for lending institutions from scratch: the logos, the identities, the address of the head office, everything is fictitious.
They contact you on social networks. And then they seek to put you in confidence and forge a real relationship with you. Warning: this technique of approach can sometimes take weeks before they broach the subject of the credit offer.
The heart of a credit scam is always asking you to put down money (sometimes even a lot of money) in order to get the loan.
Moreover, they approach you through an instant messaging application (WhatsApp, etc.)
They send you emails – they might pose as a credit professional or an ex-borrower whose financial problems were miraculously sorted out with the help of a Good Samaritan.
These fraudsters flood discussion forums, blogs, web pages with comments and promote a fraudulent credit organization or generous money lender.
To achieve their ends, criminals compete with each other in ingenuity:
They try to convince you of their good faith by sending you a copy of their identity document (false, of course!) Or passport.
They earn your trust and ask you to send them personal documents. Afterwards, they will reuse elsewhere to trap other victims.
Also, they encourage you to open an account in a questionable banking establishment.
And they always find good excuses to extract money from you: the amount is in transit, but you have to pay the handling fees.
They strike a chord and isolate you from your loved ones. Besides, they could pretend to be impatient and threaten you.
How to recognize a fraudulent credit offer?
Here are the signs that should alert you immediately:
- Trustworthy credit organizations never offer loan offers by email or on social media.
- The conditions of the credit supply do not correspond at all to the reality of the market.
- They are far too advantageous to be true. And this comprises poorly identified interlocutors, unbeatable rate, extremely simplified grant conditions without proof of income, etc.