About 3 years ago, there were a number of posts on Facebook that stated the lender had money at 4% available to anyone. As a loan broker, I’m always looking for inexpensive money for my clients. When I made contact with one of the supposed lenders their requirements were rather interesting. The key to telling me they were scam artists were two things: The need for a utility bill from the borrower and a copy of the borrower’s driver’s license.
Fast forward to today… these same scam artists are at it again. They are a bit more sophisticated now but they are easy to spot. These lenders pose as private money lenders on LinkedIn. They ask for a general summary of the project and even an executive summary of the project the borrower wishes to fund. They even have websites that make you think you’re dealing with a real lender. One that I began to research even had testimonials. Fantastic, I was getting somewhere, the lender had people saying they were legit!
Fake websites often look like legitimate and trustworthy sites to make people more apt to provide their personal information. Scammers may seed the website with malware that infects the victim’s device and harvests personal or financial information.
It fell apart when I started calling some of the people that I knew, a small world of loan brokers, that were listed in the testimonials. The specific testimonial listed a former member of my contact’s company as having written the testimonial. They listed another person in the testimonial but my contact had no idea who the lender was. I researched further to find the person mentioned in the testimonial. Fortunately, he was still in the industry and was able to be located. He and I had a few pleasant email exchanges which led to the fact that the testimonial was lifted from a legitimate lender, another one I work with, and edited to change the name of the lender.
For cyber thieves, your personal information is a goldmine. For example, your (user) name, last name, email addresses, phone numbers, passwords, banking information, credit card details, Social Security number, medical records – and so forth. Your personally identifying information could include your full name, home address, email address, online login and passwords, Social Security number, driver’s license number, passport number, or bank number.
Then came the email from the questionable lender. Please have your client fill out our application.
- Utility Bill
- Driver License
It was the same group from 3 years ago remade into a somewhat real lender.
Scammers often use phishing emails to trick victims into providing personal or financial information. Phishing emails can be deceiving in that they may appear to come from a known or trusted company, such as a bank or an online retailer, and use various tactics to get the victim to click a link or open an attachment. They are trying to steal your identity! Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personal identifying information and pretends to be you in order to commit fraud or to gain other financial benefits.
With enough identifying information about an individual, a criminal can take over that individual’s identity to conduct a wide range of crimes. For example:
- False applications for loans and credit cards,
- Fraudulent withdrawals from bank accounts,
- Fraudulent use of telephone calling cards or online accounts, or
- Obtaining other goods or privileges which the criminal might be denied if he were to use his real name
Please be wary of any lender that wants the type of information requested above and is offering interest rates that are substantially below market rates.
Call us today to find out more about all our options. If you need funding, apply now.
Patrick St. Cin
W – 512-213-2271