BBB warns against personal loan scams using LinkedIn

Personal loan scams using LinkedIn to target victims have been reported to the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan.(WWMT/MGN Online)

Personal loan scams using LinkedIn to target victims have been reported to the Better Business Bureau Serving Western Michigan.

The BBB says the scam comes via a LinkedIn message offering financing for a personal loan. The message comes from someone who appears to work for a legitimate company.

According to reports, the LinkedIn profile can be visited and looks real. BBB says some scammers will also set up a fake company website.

After receiving the message, some cases will have the scammers asking to fill out a loan application that contains sensitive personal information and a copy of your ID and signature. BBB says the goal is to steal your identity.

In other cases, the victim is easily approved for a loan. But first, the victim is asked to pay a processing fee by wire transfer.

The BBB says the following tips will help avoid falling victim to the scam:

  • Set your LinkedIn privacy settings. Use your privacy settings to limit which LinkedIn users can send you messages or connection requests.
  • Don't accept every connection request you get. Check out the user's profile before connecting. Incomplete profiles and poor grammar are red flags. Remember, just because you have connections in common, does not mean they are real. Scammers frequently create a large network to gain their victims’ trust.
  • Get loans from reputable establishments. If you need a loan, it is usually best to go through a company you know you can trust. Ask your bank or credit union what you need to do to qualify.

For more information on specific kinds of scams and how to avoid them, click here.

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