Phfishing schemes designed to fool you into wiring your closing funds to the wrong place have been getting increasingly prevalent over the past several years. Many borrowers around the country have fallen prey to these scams and lost their down payment. That is why there is a warning in my email signature, which looks like this:
BEWARE OF SCAMS – Scams that attempt to misdirect and steal your closing funds are growing problem. For your own safety – contact your closing attorney by telephone – at a number you know is valid – to request and confirm wiring instructions. If you later receive an email with a change to the wire instructions – you must call your attorney again at a verified phone number to confirm the change is correct and not fraud. No Corporate Investors Mortgage Group employee will ever provide, confirm, or change wire instructions.
I created that message in 2017. Shortly afterwards, I was speaking with a client who asked me where he needed to wire his closing funds. I explained that for his own safety, he needed to contact his closing attorney directly to obtain wiring instructions. He was very busy in the days before closing, and was happy when he received an email from his realtor which provided him with the wiring instructions. So he disregarded my advice, and used those instructions. At closing he realized he had fallen prey to this scam. His realtor’s email had been hacked, and the email he received was not from his realtor, it was from a scammer. He immediatly went to the police to report the stolen wire and to involve the FBI, but it was too late. The scammer had moved the wired funds and they were never retrieved.
This sad story is not a rare example. You can easily find stories about this happening to too many people. Read more to find out why you need to be so diligent about wiring your closing funds to the right place:
Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions about this very important information.