Whether it is unsolicited emails or visible messages on social networks, scams of private credit of the “scams” type are very present on the internet. How to recognize and protect them? We offer an analysis of a scam received recently.
What is a scam?
It is a widely used English term (like the word “spam”) which designates a scam or scam. The principle is then to send e-mails to individuals in order to extort money from them. A scam linked to consumer credit then designates a message promising the granting of a loan at a particularly advantageous rate and for any amount. In the end, the person who replies to the email will be asked to pay fees (file fees, account opening fees, or any other example), and will never receive any money. If scams generally circulate by e-mail, many copies are also present on social networks.
How to recognize a scam?
Generally, this type of scam is fairly easy to recognize. In particular, the following signs do not mislead:
- Spelling: if the message contains many spelling mistakes, it is certainly a scam.
- Address of the sender: if the sender of the message seems to be an individual (and not a company) with a private e-mail address, and it is not possible to link it to a known company it is also probably a scam.
- Services offered: if the offer seems “too good to be true”, there is certainly eel under the rocks. In Switzerland, private credit is highly regulated. Thus, loans in the event of lawsuits are not possible. In terms of conditions, rates below 4% do not exist.
- Contact only by e-mail: if the message does not indicate any address or contact telephone number, the offer is all the more suspect.
An example of scam
For the example, we will take a scam received recently in the form of an e-mail with the following content (spelling mistakes included, which we have put in red here):
Hello, I turn to all individuals in need for their announces that I grant loans of money from $ 3000 to $ 9.500.000 to all people able to repay it with an interest rate of 2% year and a time of 1 to 15 years, depending on the amount requested. I do it in the following areas: – Financial Loan – Real Estate Loan – Investment Loan – Car Loan – Consolidation Debt – Credit Repurchase – Personal Loan – You are on file If you are really in need, please write to me for more information. Please contact me by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we observe the message and take up the criteria set out above:
- Spelling: the message contains many spelling and punctuation errors, capital letters – capital letters inappropriate.
- Sender address: this is an @ gmail.com address, which can be created by anyone. So this clearly does not refer to any company.
- Services offered: in addition to the rate at 2%, the person also offers a loan to people on file, which is very vague. The duration of 1 to 15 years is also unrealistic.
- Contact: only an address at Gmail is offered here. No real address or telephone number is offered.
- Other clues: here, the person offers a loan in dollars ($) and not in USD. The turn of the phrase is in a very unusual style and the message uses terms that are little used in Switzerland. Thus, in Switzerland, we are not talking about consolidation debt but rather about credit repurchase.
How to ensure the seriousness of an offer?
If you receive advertising or come across such messages on social networks, the best way to ensure the seriousness of the offer is to check the existence of a company attached to the offer: check the existence a website in Switzerland, with contact address and telephone number. Finally, if you receive this message from one of your relatives (by e-mail or via a social network), also beware: their account could have been hacked and used to spread this type of scams. In general, this kind of scam is fairly easy to spot. In any case, it is best to ignore the message.