Fake loan offers out to scam the desperate

Cybercriminals are cashing in on the financial crisis, spamming Irish mailboxes with fake offers of affordable loans.

In difficult times people resort to desperate measures to try to keep their finances afloat. When it becomes impossible to get a regular loan, some people turn to loan sharks and their extortionist interest rates, while others look for other means. And cybercriminals are quick to seize the opportunity to make a quick profit on those desperate enough. Recently we came across this spam:

Fake loan spam email.

Like most “too good to be true” offers that randomly find their way to your mailboxes, this one is also a scam. A common “advance fee fraud”, tailored to the current economic climate. Anyone that replies to the scammers is asked for a lot of personal info, and later contacted with a detailed “offer” for which they’re asked to pay some sort of an advance fee, supposedly for solicitors’ expenses, bank transaction costs, etc. If the victim pays, the scammers try to keep inventing other fees to be paid, and some people have been tricked out of thousands of Euro, before they realised they were being scammed.

As always, Irish email users are advised to ignore and delete such messages and warn their friends about them. Legitimate banks and financial organisations do not usually send spam email, asking people for personal info. It is best not to reply anything at all to the scammers, as any sort of reply they may receive, confirms to them the person replying is real and a potential victim for a custom-tailored scam.

We wish we could also offer some good advice on how to get that loan, but our expertise is cybercrime…

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