Mortgage phishing scam resurfaces

by Allie Sanchez05 Jul 2017
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) have re-issued a warning about cyber thieves who intercept communiques between realtors and their clients to waylay mortgage payments, according to a report by HousingWire.

Also according to the publication, the two bodies are issuing the warning at the behest of Sen. Al Franken, a Minnesota Democrat, after reports of mortgage-related phishing scams have resurfaced.
The method involves scammers posing as legitimate real estate agents, realtors and title insurance firms to steal a client’s closing costs.

Then they will send a notice through email about alleged changes in the payment-wiring information, through which they will redirect a customer’s payments to their accounts. That money vanishes into thin air once the transaction is completed.

The FTC and the NAR warned consumers to be extra wary about any mortgage correspondence they receive via email.

The two organizations cautioned mortgage clients and told them to contact their realty firm or lender through trusted channels, such as official email addresses and telephone numbers, instead of clicking on links provided in fishy emails.

Further, they warned against opening email attachments, even from a familiar address or individual, unless the attachment is expected. Opening attachments could launch data-stealing malware into your computer, the organizations said.

“If you’re buying a home and get an email with money-wiring instructions, STOP. Email is not a secure way to send financial information,” the FTC and the NAR said.

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