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Low-rate mortgage phishing scam

The low-rate mortgage phishing scams look like legitimate emails from mortgage providers and banks; however, this is another trick from fraudsters to try and steal victims’ bank details.

What is the low-rate mortgage phishing scam?

There are a number of different phishing emails offering low-rate mortgages, and whilst all of them are convincing enough at a quick glance, some have put more effort in than others. A couple of these emails simply consist of text informing the recipient that they could be eligible for a low-rate mortgage, or a reverse mortgage (known more commonly as a lifetime mortgage in the UK).

One of the emails appears to come from a legitimate company, featuring a logo and what looks to be certifications and ratings for the lender itself. This is because it has copied a real mortgage provider from the US, Amerisave. However, all of these emails are fraudulent.

How do you know it’s a scam?

If you receive one of these emails, there are a couple of red flags that you should be on the lookout for. The first warning sign is an offer which is time limited. A time limit is the phishing scammer’s calling card; they want you to rush into a decision before you have the time to think it through and realise that the email is fraudulent. Language like, ‘lock in your low rates today’ and ‘offer valid for 24 hours only’ should ring some alarm bells.

The second warning sign within these emails is an offer which is too good to be true. One email offers a 2.39% mortgage which is fixed for 30 years. There is currently one new mortgage provider, Perenna, that is looking to offer a 30 year fixed term mortgage; however, this is not available at present. The interest rates for mortgages are currently hovering somewhere around 5% and 6%; the 2.39% mortgage being offered here is an impossibly low deal.

Clicking a link in one of these emails is likely to take you to a page where you’re asked for your bank account details, either to perform a credit check or to ‘lock in’ your low rates. Entering your details means payday for these phishers, who can then empty your bank account.. 

What should I do if I receive one of these emails?

If you receive one of these emails, it’s highly likely that it is a scam. Do not click any of the links in the email, and if you have done this accidentally, do not provide any personally identifiable information or your bank details. If you think an email that you’ve received is a phishing email, you can forward it to Action Fraud

If you are keen to check whether a mortgage offer you’ve received is legitimate, find the lender online and contact them directly using details you find on their website. In the case of the phishing email pertaining to be from Amerisave, a quick internet search reveals that they are not offering mortgages at 2.39%. Do not use any details that you find within the email itself; this is likely to put you in direct contact with the scammer.

If you’re struggling with your mortgage repayments, Money Saving Expert has a detailed list of your options

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