Mortgages 

Mortgage advisers targeted in scam email

Mortgage advisers targeted in scam email

An adviser has warned of a scam email specifically targeting mortgage brokers after his company was approached by apparent fraudsters claiming to be prospective clients. 

Adviser Bespoke Finance received a mortgage enquiry last week (July 29) allegedly from a married couple with two properties who claimed to be looking to remortgage one property in order to buy another.

The email, seen by FTAdviser, stated the couple found the company's details online and asked what fees were available for remortgage and purchase. 

Adam Hosker, founder and director at Bespoke Finance, said his company replied to the email recommending the couple use its online mortgage fact find tool, but they replied claiming they had included all their mortgage details in SharePoint, the Microsoft Office document platform, for which a link was included in the email. 

But when Mr Hosker clicked on the "SharePoint" link he found it was a fake website, asking for his log in details before being able to download the files. 

The fake "SharePoint" website features a convincing logo, layout and login page, but the web address is incorrect. 

Mr Hosker said: "It was not Microsoft Sharepoint but a fake website, designed to send the hacker the details for your email login details. We did not fall for this scam and no details were exposed, though it is well designed.

"Phishing emails directing users to enter information at a fake website is nothing new. What caught my attention is how targeted it is to mortgage advisers. As an industry, we must be vigilant in protecting client data as attacks become more targeted."

Mr Hosker also took to Twitter to warn of the scam targeting financial advisers, stating: "It's great that advice firms are moving over to more secure ways to communicate and share files with clients such as @myfilehaven. Bringing clients into your secure platform, rather than email or fake SharePoint sites." 

Advisers have been on the receiving end of another scam email in recent weeks, with fraudsters impersonating the Financial Conduct Authority and offering recipients a "guaranteed chance to earn" on crypto assets. 

The email claimed to be from the FCA featuring the regulator's branding and logo alongside that of the Prudential Regulation Authority, and encouraged the idea of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin increasing in value in the near future. 

Last month Dominic Thomas, founder of Solomons Independent Financial Advisers, said he received the email five times over one weekend and suspected it to be a scam. 

rachel.mortimer@ft.com 

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