The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Realtors warned home buyers that they could be the next victim of a mortgage closing cost phishing scheme, according to Ben Lane of HousingWire.
The warning was issued last week, as, according to the FTC and NAR, scammers are hacking the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions.
Once they hack into an email account, here’s what happens next:
Then, the scammers send an email to the buyer, posing as the real estate professional or title company, stating that there has been a “last minute change” to the wiring instructions.
The scammers’ email instructs the buyer to sent the funds to a different account, which belongs to the scammers.
According to the FTC, if the buyer takes the bait, their bank account could be cleared out in a “matter of minutes.”