It’s your worst nightmare as a buyer: one minute, everything is a go for purchasing the house of your dreams and the next, the entire down payment is gone with little hope in getting it back. This nightmare, known as wire fraud, has happened across the country to buyers who have fallen prey to a phishing scam resulting in losses of hundreds of millions dollars with devastating results for those in the process of purchasing a home.
The way this scam works is hackers target email and other accounts with messages relating to real estate activities, collecting contacts/email address of those in the process of buying a property. The scammer then spoofs an email to the buyer, often pretending to be an agent, title company, etc., directing them on where to wire their down payment. For those unfortunate buyers who follow through, they are out their down payment with little chance of ever getting it back. Continue reading