Sarah moved with her family from Dallas to a small town outside of Austin and started looking for a house immediately. As many of you know, it’s not easy finding a home in this area, but luckily after a few months, she found a great neighborhood and an under-construction home they loved. As the closing drew near, she went through the seemingly endless list of items with the construction manager and mortgage company and all the numerous entities involved in a home purchase—insurance, home warranty, title, surveyor, moving company, etc.
As the emails and phone calls started flying, she and her husband noticed a sudden uptick in unsolicited phone calls. At first, she thought they had landed in a robocall cycle, but then the callers started leaving messages—extremely urgent ones. Some said their social security accounts has been compromised, and they needed to call in immediately to resolve the issue. Others were more threatening and said the Social Security Administration was gearing up to shut their entire account down so that they would be unable to access their funds.
Fortunately, the clients are pretty tech-savvy and recognized this as a type of scam known as “social engineering.” It’s most common a couple of weeks before closing (though it can happen at any time)—hackers jump in and start trying to get as much information as they can so they can divert the closing funds to their own accounts. These attempts are happening more and more to real estate transactions, and sadly some of them are successful and buyers lose all their closing funds.
The FBI put out an article on this hacking attempt. Click here to continue reading the FBI’s recommendations.
Article Courtesy of Independence Title.