I wanted to make sure you aware of a Fraud Scheme going around!
While the scheme has been around for a while targeting title companies, lenders and real estate agents, it now seems to be targeting Real Estate Investors. The fraudsters hack email, and send notices out to real estate investors/borrowers as if they are coming from their lenders (it looks really convincing) saying something like “due to changes with our bank we are unable to accept payments by check, but to help you out, we have setup a new account that you can wire your payments too in the meantime”, then they attach new wire instructions for your use. Once you wire funds, they are almost impossible to retrieve and you are out the money.
I have spoke to a few other lenders and they have had clients exposed to this scheme, some lost thousands of dollars. One of our clients was targeted recently in the scheme, fortunately she called us prior to sending the wire. We have filed the attempted fraud with the FBI. The agent involved, said this is a common scheme and has been going on nationally. While the scheme is known, that won’t help get your money back!
While it seems impossible to prevent people from trying to steal your money, if you must wire funds to anyone, protect yourself and do your due diligence prior! Something lenders and title companies have taken to safe guard themselves is to verbally verify all wire instructions with the receiving party prior to issuing a wire. In doing this, you should get the phone number from public listings (411) or reliable source, not by calling a number listed in the email.
Whether you are current client of ours or not, we want you to be safe!