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Mortgage Fraud Is Still Alive and Kicking

Fraud-Is-Still-Alive-and-Kicking

Fraudsters Continue to Find New Ways to Scam Banks and Homeowners

If you think that most mortgage fraud is a thing of the past, that the scams within the home lending industry have mostly been brought under control in the last decade, think again. Here are some sobering statistics:

  • In 2016, more than $5 billion of mortgage funds were targeted by individuals engaged in some fraudulent activity (according to the FBI)
  • From 2015 to 2016, wire fraud scams involving title companies went up six-fold (a sobering number when you consider that experts estimate that about one in every six cases of mortgage fraud is reported
  • The FBIZ reported fraudulent wire transfers of mortgage dollars to 103 different countries in 2016

Here’s what the latest scam looks like—it’s a combination of identity fraud, computer hacking and wire fraud. The scammer typically hacks an e-mail or online account that has information about an impending closing. The scammer then “steals” the identity of a party involved in the transaction (typically the seller, but maybe a title or real estate agent) and contacts the buyer with fraudulent directions to wire the down payment. The down payment is then wired directly to the fraudster’s account.

Experts say that the wire transfer fraud can be highly sophisticated, with some perpetrators using technology that makes it appear that the phone call is coming from a legitimate number. There’s even technology that allows fraudsters to intercept “call and verify” efforts.

The best way to protect yourself from mortgage scams? Know the people with whom you are working. Be willing to ask questions about the process and have someone you know you can call to give you accurate information about your transaction.

Contact Attorney David J. Karbasian

Contact our office online or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment. Your first consultation is without cost or obligation. The sooner you call, the sooner you can move forward with your claim. We can accommodate evening or weekend meeting requests and will come to your home, if necessary.

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