Columbus, OH (September 15, 2021) – BBB Scam Tracker is receiving reports of scammers posing as legitimate loan providers. Bogus lenders guarantee a quick loan with no upfront fees. But victims who provide their banking information to crooks find themselves in the negative.
How the scam works:
You receive an email announcing a secured loan. The email displays a logo and contact details for what appears to be a legitimate loan company. Before making the offer, you research the business online to determine if it is trustworthy. You find that the name and contact details are for a legitimate business, so you proceed with the loan.
Once you accept the loan, the “lender” takes your personal banking information and deposits the loan into your account via a check. Then they require you to purchase insurance for the loan before the check is officially cleared. Unfortunately, the loan check turns out to be a fake, which victims often do not realize until after paying the “insurance”. A victim told BBB: “The money will be available the next day, but then it will be rejected by your bank three days later. “
These scammers know that consumers are increasingly aware of phishing attempts, so they are using a business identity which can be easily verified online. This allows them to gain the trust of the target and gain access to their bank account.
How to avoid bogus loan offers:
Avoid unsolicited loan offers. Scammers use quick money offers to lure you in, don’t fall for the trap. Whether they contact you by phone, email, or text, or send you loan offers by mail, approach all unsolicited offers of money with caution.
Expect a credit check. These scams often prey on people who may not easily qualify for a loan. No legitimate lender will give you a loan without performing a credit check.
Make sure the business contact information matches the email sender’s information. Brand IDs can easily be copied and included in the body of an email, so the most important information for a consumer to verify is the sender’s email address. The domain of the email address is usually the domain of the official website and should be free of random letters or numbers.
. Research loan providers before accepting an offer. When dealing with an unfamiliar company, don’t just verify that they are legitimate by searching for their name online, as you might be missing out on surprising information. Check out ratings and reviews to see what others are saying and search for a BBB company profile.
You can connect with trusted lenders in your area by visiting: BBB.org
Be careful and beware of “secured” loans with upfront fees. Report scams to: BBB.org/ScamTracker