Who is behind the credit scams on the Internet?

Financial loans amounting to hundreds of thousands of euros, at very low rates (2% or 3%), granted by other individuals. This type of offer, obviously fraudulent, is relatively common on social networks, but also in the comment areas of websites like MoneyVox. To better understand how these scammers operate and their motives, we have answered some of them. Here is our survey of credit scams among individuals.

Credit between individuals. Advance Client Investigations, Unemployed, Temporary, RSA, Retirement, Prohibited Banking, Over-indebtedness: Solutions exist if you have the ability to pay and honor your application obligations. This kind of ad display Personal loansMoneyVox receives 1 to 2 per week on average, in the form of comments posted within its articles, those specifically dedicated to purchasing power issues, or in our discussion forum.

Sometimes they take shape Testimonials – Recommendations: good morning. My name is XXXXX, and I am among you to thank Madame Martin XXXXX for all you have done for me. I was looking for a loan several months ago, I got scammed by malicious people, so I lost hope but they managed to put a smile on my face by offering me a €40k loan, which allowed me to do something. (1). Follows, inevitably, an email address to contact to place an order.

These messages do not remain on our site for long. MoneyVox constantly monitors the comments posted by its readers, and they are among those that lead, instantly, to publishing and one Westernization From the address used to post it. But, on the Internet, we find it everywhere: on other websites and, above all, on social networks.

All these temptations dig the same groove: they’re tryingExploiting financial fragility Some French do not have, or no longer have, access to traditional bank credit to finance their projects or the end of the month. They are many. According to figures released by the Bank of France (2), nearly 30,000 households have filed for excess indebtedness since the beginning of 2022. And by 24% compared to 2021. The trend is also upward (+13%) for filings with the FCC (Central Verification File) following check incidents. it is obvious that The number of potential victims of these credit scams is increasing every day.

How do these criminals get their way? What are their specific goals? To find out, we decided to respond, on the condition of anonymity, to some of these proposals. This is what we were able to find out.

Attractive ads

For the purposes of this article, we have emailed six different advertisements. two took shape Customer testimonials Satisfied clients who take the time to promote their lender. the others were Service suggestions, directed directly at their targets: people on fixed-term contracts, temporary workers, unemployed or RSA, retirees, bank bans, heavily indebted … Two advertisements, almost identical and very likely published by the same person, clearly show the range of amounts – between 300 and 300,000 euros – and the interest rate, obviously very attractive: 2%. For comparison, the rates already charged by banks, on loans of up to 3,000 euros, were on average 15.83%, in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Banque de France.

To respond to these ads, we have created an email address and fake profile: A temporary single man earns about 1,300 euros a month and wants to borrow 6,000 euros to buy a used car, having given up his soul.

Always the same procedure

what happened after that? Very quickly, generally within a few hours, sometimes less, we got answers from our interlocutors. They all looked pretty much the same.

In the first emailWe made our interlocutor comfortable by announcing his approval in principle for the loan. Provided, of course, that certain conditions are fulfilled: that he be of the age of majority, of good character …

Then, in Second emailWe are asked to provide additional information about the nature of the loan, but also about marital status, address, phone number, email address, etc.

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In a third email , confirms that the loan has been granted to us. To complete the scholarship procedure, needs Supporting Documentssent by email, in digital form.

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At this stage, it is difficult for us to continue with the experiment, except for providing false documents. However, we have tried to bypass the obstacle by adopting two strategies. In one case, one of our interlocutors reported to us about Concerned about his use of these documents. The tone, spelling, and so on of the letters deteriorated a little: our interlocutor began to justify his request by recalling that it was the law; Then he tried to pressure us by threatening to refuse the loan.

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In another case, we sent blurry and illegible images of requested documents, claiming there was a problem with the camera. There, the interlocutor followed us several times, including by phone at the number we gave him, obviously not set, and then by viewing the chat on the Instagram social network.

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What is the purpose of the scam?

What are scammers looking for who take the time to respond to us and get back to us? Their primary motive doesn’t seem to be blackmail. At no time, however, as far as we’ve been able to go, did our interlocutors make getting the loan conditional on sending money, which was often the case a few years ago. On the other hand, everyone was very anxious about it Extracting as much personal information and documents as possible.

To better understand what’s at stake, we called Police Chief Thierry Beznik, Sirasco’s Chief Financial Officer (3), a service that collects and analyzes intelligence related to money laundering and mass fraud. He assured us that extortion was not the primary goal: sometimes criminals make access to fake credit conditional on payment of sums of money (insurance bond, to release money, etc.), but their primary motive is to collect as much personal as possible. Data as much as possible about their victim. A technique called phishing or more commonly phishing.

Why go so far as to request copies of proof of identity, residence or income? This indicates that the fraudster hopes to use these documents to Opening bank accounts in the name of his victims, says Thierry Beznik. To do this, they take advantage of the possibility that some players provide to open accounts remotely, without going to a branch. This is the case of online banks (Boursorama, Fortuneo …), Nobanks (N26, Revolut …) and payment services (Lydia, Aumax for me …), but also traditional banks, such as Societe Generale. The documents required for these online openings are 100% identical to the documents required by our interlocutors.

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What do they do next with these accounts? The answer in one word: whitening. Their goal is to create Countless bank accounts, throughout Europe, ready to receive funds generated by fraud and fraud. Thierry Beznik explains that they are often inactive accounts, which can be activated at any time.

Who is behind these tricks?

Generally, interpersonal credit advertisements are very personal. Clearly displays the alleged lender’s name and direct email address. However, the scammers who hide behind these nicknames are not No lonely people. We are dealing with real criminal organizations, assures Thierry Beznik, who use them call centers to Channel collection of information To as many individuals and companies as possible. The information then ends up in lists of potential victims, which these organizations directly exploit or sell to each other. Thierry Beznik emphasizes that it is not uncommon to see individuals fall victim multiple times, several months apart.

these call centers-Obviously, she Abroad and often outside Europe. Their location depends on the targets, the police chief determines. The organizations involved need to find a workforce that speaks and writes the language of their future victims. As for France, they are most often located in Madagascar or the Maghreb.

What is the magnitude of the phenomenon?

Peer-to-peer lending scam is only a small part of A broader phenomenon of online financial fraud. It is difficult to assess, as the statistics of the Ministerial Statistical Service for Homeland Security (SSMSI) identify cases of fraud without giving details by mode of operation.

The only certainty: Scams, in the broad sense, are more and more numerous in France. The SSMSI set 423,000 in 2021, a number up 15% from the previous year.

How do you avoid falling into the trap?

And as far as we can say frankly: the police have little means to effectively combat this type of fraud, which operates under pseudonyms and from abroad. That is why they depend above all on to forbid.

Since April 2020, the Ministry of Economy has hosted a National Anti-fraud Task Force, which brings together law enforcement, state services and financial sector regulators. In particular, it publishes a fraud prevention guide. What does it offer to avoid falling into the trap of credit fraud between individuals? There is Three tips that apply anywhere and anytime:

  • Beware of very tempting ads and adsin this case, offering loans at interest rates significantly lower than those offered by market players;
  • Never send money strangers and/or countries that are not related to the interviewer you think you are addressing;
  • Never communicate anything personal, via email or on social networks, to strangersWhether it is personal information (phone number, email address or IBAN) or sensitive documents (identity documents, tax notices, payment notices).

(1) The reproduced texts are those of real messages posted on MoneyVox in March 2022. Only nicknames used have been deleted, spelling and punctuation have been improved for readability. (2) Banque de France, Financial Inclusion Monthly Barometer, April 2022.[3)DepartmentofInformationIntelligenceandStrategicAnalysisonOrganizedFinancialCrime[3)دائرةالمعلوماتوالاستخباراتوالتحليلالاستراتيجيبشأنالجريمةالماليةالمنظمة

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