When a market or specific item is extremely popular, scammers are usually taking note.
The Federal Trade Commission and the National Association of Realtors issued a warning to consumers to be mindful of a growing mortgage closing phishing scam that could leave home buyers with no down payment.
In the warning, FTC and NAR said that scammers are hacking into the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals in order to access information about the closing date. The hackers will then send an email to the buyer and pose as the real estate professional or title company.
In the email, hackers will say there’s been a “last minute change” to the wiring instructions for the funds for closing. They will then instruct the buyers to send the funds to a different account, which really belongs to them.
A buyers’ bank account could be cleared out in a “matter of minutes,” and they aren’t likely to get it back, according to the FTC.
“If you’re buying a home and get an email with money-wiring instructions, STOP,” the FTC posted in its bulletin. “Email is not a secure way to send financial information, and your real estate professional or title company should know that.”