This is an OSINT analysis of a lending company called MEDIAAN ABS Financial Services. Nothing on the company’s website appears to be genuine, and third-party reports confirm that the firm is likely to be linked to advance-fee scams.
A mate raised my attention to the following Tweet by Stilgherrian, a tech journo here Down Under.
The email promises personal and business loans on a suspiciously low-interest rate for those with poor credit ratings. It sounds too good to be true, isn’t it?
The financial offer of this unsolicited email seems to fit into the pattern of personal loan scams. Scams like this are a subset of advance-fee scams, in which the unsuspecting victims are offered low-interest rate loans with no credit checks. Once a victim demonstrates interest, they are tricked into paying unexpected fees or mysterious charges before the loan is granted. Usually, the promise is that this fee is returned once the loan is granted.
Needless to say, once these extra fees are transferred to the criminals, neither the loan nor the fund arrives.
Red flags everywhere
The company calls itself ‘MEDIAAN ABS Financial Service’ (not to be confused with Mediaan/ABS B.V.). According to the website, MEDIAAN ABS specialises in project financing, loans and funding real-estate investments.
The website claims that MEDIAAN ABS is “one of the world’s foremost Financial Service Investment company” partnering with leading banks and financial service providers for twenty years.
A closer examination of the website provides a different impression of this business venture, however.
Where to start? The ‘Our Team’ section shows three photographs of the presumed management team of MEDIAAN ABS. The photos provide no context whatsoever, as none of them features a short description of who they are and what they do at the company.
A reverse image search was able to identify these three executives of the MEDIAAN ABS Financial Services. In summary, I found that they all three come with an impressive work history and a proven track of record of managing successful companies within the financial sector…
The MEDIAAN ABS fake executive team
Man #1. appears to be a photo model straight from Shutterstock.
Woman #1. is also a photo model. On this photo, she is posing as a medical practitioner.
The last photo (Man #2.) features a photo cut in half of a man appear to be also a photo model.
Lazy corporate branding
Further analysis also reveals that almost nothing appears to be genuine on this website.
For example, I would expect a serious financial services company to design a unique look and feel. Let’s take a look at the logo.
The reverse image search reveals a wide variety of visually similar images. Sadly, the MEDIAAN ABS Financial Services logo appears to be a generic image with the sample text simply removed.
Even the ‘About us’ section is not genuine as most of the text is a slightly amended copy of the blurb lifted from an unrelated website.
This begs the question: what is genuine on this website at all?
Third-party scam reports
A little bit of poking around reveals that a number of spam emails pushing the MEDIAAN ABS services were sent from the
consultant.com domain name.
According to independent reports, this domain name is associated with other spam campaigns involving PayPal and Amazon scams.
Unfortunately, the investigation ends here. I managed to find the following potential leads to go further from here:
After this blog post was published, I contacted the hosting provider Wix to report abuse.
Are you in financial trouble?
For those who got here from Google.
If you are in a situation of financial hardship considering to get a loan from this company – please don’t! There are way too many red flags indicating that MEDIAAN ABS Financial Services is not a legitimate lending operation.
If you have any liquidity problems, please contact a reputable financial advisor instead to help you through this period of financial hardship.
Update (11 May 2020): Wix is seemingly not interested in taking down the website.