Be careful with loan fraud via the Internet, Facebook & WhatsApp

Criminals use the internet and social media to take advantage of people’s financial difficulties in order to make quick money.

fraud via the Internet

The con is carried out through specially created websites, advertisements, or comments that promise cheap and simple loans from banks and intermediaries in other EU countries, as well as from private individuals.

Fake profiles and false promises

The scam can be found in social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. People were also contacted via WhatsApp or websites were accessed by alleged banks or credit brokers, according to the European Consumer Center.

The standard procedure is for criminals to create fake Facebook profiles or pages using a false identity. After that, they send out a slew of friend requests.

Those who agree will receive private messages from people who claim to have successfully obtained a loan.

Alternatively, comments with alleged loan offers from other EU member states are posted.

It is always enticed by large sums of money, low interest rates, and lenient lending terms.

The following is an example of possible wording:

Are you looking for a loan? We offer you a loan between 5,000 and 100,000 dollars. And that for just 2% interest. So you can pay off your debts and not have to worry. Interest? Then contact us: E-Mail (…) or WhatsApp + (…)

Fraud Features: Strange Loan Agreements and Prepayment

People who are in a financial emergency and are unable to obtain a loan from their home bank are drawn to such offers because they smell the possibility of obtaining a loan.

Consumers reported that anyone who makes contact is lured into the trap by “good words” and skilled conversation.

There was a lot of lively correspondence after that. Loan proposals are made, and even a contract is sent. Consumers should have reservations at this point, at the very least.

The contracts appear unprofessional and amateurish due to their idiosyncratic design and frequently incorrect.

Logos of foreign ministries, well-known banks, and insurance companies are occasionally copied and misappropriated.

When a specific amount of money is requested before the loan is paid out, such as for alleged processing fees, taxes, money laundering certificates, clearance by the authorities, or notary fees, the alarm bells should ring.

Those who pay are frequently confronted with new demands.

This continues until the con artists notice that their victim is becoming suspicious or has run out of money. Those who are affected usually do not hear from the criminals if they stop making payments or ask too many questions, and they have fallen victim to advance fraud.

Important: No matter how much money you pay, you will never receive the money you were promised.

How to Defend Yourself Against Credit Fraud

  • Ignore loan offers on social media platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram. It’s a scam. Banks with a good reputation would never make specific offers on social media.
  • Banks and credit brokers do not use e-mail addresses that anyone can create, such as gmail, gmx, and other similar services.
  • Give no information about your financial situation to strangers.
  • Contracts should not be entered into with people you do not know.
  • Personal information should not be shared on social media platforms.
  • Never pay with cash transfer services like Western Union or MoneyGram, vouchers or payment cards like “Paysafe,” or real-time transfer.
  • Check where the lender is supposed to be based and whether the company exists and is authorized to broker loans with the national supervisory authority.

How to spot a loan fraud

  • You can reach out to us via WhatsApp, social media, or email.
  • In the market, unusual promises are made (low interest rate, no credit check, credit from private individuals).
  • Taxes, administration fees, activation codes, money laundering certificates, insurance, and so on are all charged to you on a regular basis.
  • For the settlement, a fictitious lawyer or notary is used.
  • For communication, use a private email address or phone number.
  • New Facebook friends claim to have had success with a loan.
  • You will be sent a copy of your alleged clerk’s identity card to demonstrate the seriousness of the business.
  • You will be given login information for an allegedly personal user account on a website where you will be able to view the alleged loan approval process. Warning: this says nothing about the gravity of the situation! In today’s world, anyone can create a website in a matter of hours. There is no “official” body that checks to see if it is a bank or something similar.

You will quickly notice that you have already made contact with crooks, because fraudsters

  • Usually answer quickly, but possibly at unusual times that do not correspond to the opening times of a bank.
  • Require personal data such as bank details and a copy of ID or pay slip quickly.
  • Want to install a remote maintenance program (such as “Teamviewer”) on your computer and “help” you transfer the sums.
  • Build up time pressure.
  • Require a fee prior to payout, e.g. B. Processing fees or credit information costs.
  • Send strange and colorfully designed contracts.
  • Require you to publish an account with a bank using the video identification process and to transmit the access data to the alleged lender.

Fell for fraud. What to do?

  • Block fake profiles and report them to the social platform.
  • Report to the police immediately. This is possible at every police station.
  • Block email senders and phone numbers on your end devices.
  • You should also react immediately if you have received invoices but no goods or if you have not ordered the goods at all. The perpetrators may go on a shopping spree on your behalf.
  • Victims are often threatened when the perpetrators realize that they are not paying any further sums. Don’t let that impress you. You have not entered into any legally binding obligation and are not obliged to pay.
  • If your account has been hacked, you should report this to the social platform as well. Change your password if still possible. Use secure passwords made up of numbers and letters, special characters as well as upper and lower case.
  • If you have sent the perpetrators a copy of your ID or passport, you should withdraw this document as soon as possible by having a new one issued. In addition to reporting charges of (attempted) fraud, we also recommend reporting charges of identity theft.
  • In the near future, keep an eye on your account movements in case you have disclosed your bank or credit card details.
  • If you open an account using the Videoident procedure but no longer have access to it, you should inform the bank immediately.