Home Loan Phishing Scams
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Home loan, mortgage and refinance spam are just another form of phishing. They are only phishing for your personal information that can be sold to other spammers or to commit identity theft. They are not going to give you a loan and if they do, then you are probably dealing with loan sharks, people who become very nasty if you don't pay them back.
Home loan scam e-mails normally contain the following characteristics:
- They are never addressed to a specific person, many of them don't even contain the Dear Sir/Madam introductory.
- Subject lines often contains the phrases "Better Life", "Better Success", "Better Future", "Thank you for your loan request", "We accepted your loan request", "Loan request approved", "We are ready to give you a loan".
- They contain poor spelling and grammar, which is often done deliberately to bypass spam filters.
- Many home loan scam e-mails contains chunks of text at the bottom of the e-mail, making no sense at all. These chunks of text are called hash buster text and are used to bypass spam filters.
- They often contain links to websites (see characteristics below), harvesting personal information for use in spamming activities and identity theft.
Home loan phishing sites normally contain the following characteristics:
- They request the following personal information:
- First Name
- Last Name
- State (U.S. Only)
- Zip Code
- Email Address
- Home Phone
- Work Phone
- You need to specify the best time for you to be contacted: morning at work, afternoon at work, evening at work, morning at home, afternoon at home or evening at home
- They ask the following questions related to your credit profile, with specific options to choose from:
- How Would You Rate Your Credit? Choose between Excellent, Good, Fair and Poor
- Type of Loan Desired: Choose between Refinance, Debt Consolidation, Home Improvement, Second Mortgage, Line of Credit or Purchase First Home
- Loan Amount Desired: Options ranging from $75,000 to an amount over $2,000,000
- Estimated Property Value: Options ranging from under $70,000 to an amount over $2,000,000
- Type of Property: Choose between Mobile Home, Single Family Residence, Condo or Townhouse, 2-4 Plex
- Approximate 1st Mortgage Balance: Options ranging from $10,000 to an amount over $2,000,000
- Approximate 1st Mortgage Interest Rate: Options ranging from 5.000 to 15.000
- Interest Rate Type: Choose between Fixed or Adjustable
- Some sites contain a so-called unsubscribe button that can be used to be remove your e-mail address from their mailing list. The scammers only use this to confirm that your e-mail address is active. Once you submit your e-mail address for removal, you will be added to a priority list resulting in even more spam.
The following images were taken from a home loan scam web site, just to illustrate how unprofessional and amateurish these people really are. Are you really going to trust a site using badly designed banners like these? You can hardly read the text on these images.
Please Note: The TRUSTe name and TRUSTe-branded seals, logos, and related marks are registered trademarks/design marks of TRUSTe. Cyber Top Cops is in no way affiliated with TRUSTe. The rest of the banners displayed below are for illustrative purposes only and are the intellectual property of their respective owners, if any exist.
Most of these banners require a link back to the authority site that issued them, home loan scam websites only display them without linking back to any site. So if you ever come across a site displaying these banners (good or bad quality), not linking back to the proper websites, offering you a "No Hassle Loan Quote" on a page requesting the information mentioned above, get away from that site as quickly as possible and please send the URL (website address) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have put some of these sites to the test. They never send you a quote, they only send you spam!
Below are links to copies of typical home loan phishing scam e-mails. Note that the original formatting of the e-mails was preserved and this is more or less how they look when you open them. We have disabled the links in the e-mails because they point to dangerous locations that may result in identity theft, financial loss or they might infect your computer with viruses or spyware.
- The Follow-Up E-mail Scam
- A More Formal Home Loan Scam
- Limited Time Offer Home Loan Scam
- Mortgage Refinance Quote Scam
- No Hassle Business Loans Scam
- Pre-approved Refinance Loan Scam
- The Other Home Loan Deal Scam