15:24 PM, 11th January 2011, About 12 years ago 1
A leading buy to let mortgage lender has warned landlords to watch out for an email scam.
A bogus email seemingly sent by Platform Home Loans asks property investors for a processing fee and identification details that lets the lender release mortgage funds.
The email is a scam ‘phishing’ for personal information and anyone who pays the processing fee will lose their money to the online crooks running the fraud.
Platform has warned landlords that the firm runs all mortgage business via financial advisers or mortgage brokers and does not send out unsolicited emails.
“If you are not conducting business with Platform and receive any unsolicited emails of this nature please forward it to Platform’s Financial Crime team,” advises the lender.
No figures are available to confirm how many landlords have fallen for the con.
The Platform email scam is one of hundreds of bogus emails purporting to come from bona fide lenders and financial firms circulating on the internet.
How to protect your computer against online crooks
Scammers send out millions of ‘phishing’ emails every day. Some of the favourite UK bank and lender brands quoted are Lloyds TSB, HSBC and The Halifax, closely followed by Welcome Finance and Ocean Finance.
One online resource for checking out these rogue emails is the Internet Fraud Advisory Service, a free and reputable service listing hundreds of criminal email addresses.
‘Phishing’ gangs send random emails pretending to come from a bank or other reputable company to try and trick customers in to disclosing personal information and passwords.
The crooks then steal money from accounts or sell the details to other gangs.
You can often spot a ‘phishing’ email because the sender asks for you to verify or update passwords by clicking a link to a bogus web site. Software then records any data entered.
Following the links can also lead to the criminals installing remote access software on your computer that can trap personal information.
Setting up a firewall or installing antivirus software that scans your PC regularly can often prevent these attacks.
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