Recognising fake debt collection emails

Recognising fake debt collection emails

It is impossible for anyone to know, and have heard of every debt collection agency in the UK, which means spotting a fake agency is proving to be increasingly challenging.

With the number of fake debt collection agencies rising, it’s become more important than ever to know what to look for to avoid falling into their deceptive trap.

To help you with all your professional debt collection requirements, visit our pages online to see how we can help you, and read on to find out some of the signs on how to spot a fake collection email.

Purpose of a fake email

A fake email aims to extract sensitive information from the end user.

They tend to do this by copying real company names and logos and only making slight differences (which we’ll look at below).

These cyber criminals may use intimidation and manipulation and will most likely make unrealistic payment demands using threatening and aggressive language that can involve legal threats.

Without a full understanding of the debt collection process, these emails and threats of legal action can seem very real and cause undue stress and anxiety.

However, it’s essential to note that professional debt collectors will never use harassment or bad language in email collection notices.

How to recognize fake debt collection emails

Fake emails are of significant concern, adversely affecting creditors (in terms of damaging their reputation and business name) and debtors (by stealing personal information and money).

For all designed to deceive and exploit, fortunately, fake emails do have some specific traits that help to differentiate them from real emails; these include:

A small error in the sender’s email address

It’s important that you take time to verify the sender’s email address, as scammers will use remarkably similar email address details. However, there will always be one small error. This may be a minor spelling mistake in the name or the email address may not end in .co.uk or .com.

The email address might also not match the company they state they’re from and will include a generic greeting such as “good morning” or “good afternoon” rather than using your name.

There are a lot of links included in the email

Placing a link in an email isn’t uncommon, but it is dangerous if it is from a malicious cybercriminal. Cybercriminals use fake links in emails to enable them to hack your system or place viruses within your device. They use subtle tricks and aggressive wording to scam details out of you, where you’re almost forced to download malware.

Before you click on any link within an email, check the full URL to make sure it is free from spelling mistakes and leads you to where it says it will. You can do this by hovering your mouse over the link to identify the full details.

The email will feel rushed

Almost all fake small business debt recovery emails will feel aggressive in their tone, forcing you into a decision quickly so you don’t feel like you have time to check them out, question what they’re asking of you, etc.

They will set unrealistic payment demands with no payment schedule or outline. Professional debt collection agencies never use this type of tone or language in their emails. Of course, there will still be a sense of urgency to help you settle your outstanding debt, but it will never feel forced, and all information and details will always be provided.

There’s no information on the debt

A debt collection email scam will have very basic information contained in the body of the email. There will most likely be no detail and no information relating to the actual debt or the amount outstanding. These scammers are almost taking a stab in the dark, hoping they get somewhere near right.

Spelling and grammar errors in the email

Some fake emails can look very professional with their design templates and even stolen company logos. However, look carefully as there will no doubt be small spelling and grammatical errors in these emails as they won’t go through the same quality control processes that a professional debt collection agency will use.

Research the company

Check that the debt recovery agency the email says they are from actually exists. Check them out online. Do they have a website or a permanent address listed? Do they have any testimonials or customer comments online? It’s important to find out exactly who sent the email and if they are to be trusted.

If you feel an email is fake or a scam, it’s important to report it and block the email sender immediately.

Don’t make any payments or reply with any personal details until you have thoroughly vetted and verified the email and company in question.

You can also report the scam to the FCA through their website, which can investigate the company/sender further.

Small business debt recovery agency

We live in an ever-increasing digital landscape, and the majority of our communications with others take place online and via email.

This means we must stay alert and be aware of the potential dangers and threats out there from cybercriminals.

Knowing how to protect and respond to fake emails is your best line of defence to safeguard your personal information and finances.

To find out more about our services, contact us today at +44 7860 197 476 or email memberbenefits@directroute.co.uk.