They say buying a home is one of the most expensive purchases you will ever make. And with so much money on the line, it's no surprise scammers take advantage of soon-to-be homeowners.
As with many phishing scams, the mortgage closing scam starts with an email from a hacker disguising him/herself as the home buyer's lender, title company or realtor. The hacker spends weeks watching the closing process unfold, gathering information, and waiting for the perfect moment to jump in, typically in the final stages of the process. In this time-sensitive and stressful period, the hacker will reach out with new last-minute details of where to wire funds. So, what are the red flags you need to look out for?
1. Misspelled name or email address.
Hackers will use a near-identical name and email address of your lender, title company or realtor, but with a variation so minor it can be easily missed. Make sure to pay close attention to check your email correspondences.
2. Last minute changes in payment instructions.
If the title company does send new instructions, confirm the new wire transfer instructions with them directly, in person.
The mortgage closing process can be demanding with many moving parts, but paying close attention to the details every step of the way will ultimately lead to a successful close of your new home.