I got duped! Title Closing Fraud

8 Replies

I got duped into sending $10K in the form of a wire transfer to a person who was acting like an individual from the title company. 

This is my first rental property purchase, and I was deceived into thinking I had to wire transfer funds for closing in order to make my closing date on the 20th. I wanted to share my story so other first time investors don't fall for this trick. 

At some point during the sales transaction, personal information about the home purchase was intercepted by a fraudster. They knew the location of the home, the title company contact information and names, amounts of purchase...everything. I wired the money to the individual and found out the next morning from my lender the transaction was fraud! What a huge disappointment and super discouraging to have this happen on my first property! I'm not sure if I will recoup the cost of this fraud; however, I won't allow this to tear down my dreams! Please do not wire money to anyone without talking to them on the phone first! Don't make the same stupid mistake I did. They caught me off guard as I didn't want to delay my closing and allowed my emotions to take over first vs trusting my gut instinct! Post the fraud wire transfer, I filed a report with the FBI and the local police. In addition, spoke to all parties involved to try and recall the payment. What a nightmare! 

That's horrible. We had a client in the office who ALMOST wired over 107K. They intercepted the contract somewhere, duped the attorneys address (added a 1) and sent out wiring instructions. It was a savvy bank person that stopped him. They scammers exchanged emails a few times, confirming dates and asking regular questions, promising they can close early. 

This is a huge and growing problem.  Scammers are getting very good at hacking emails and sending convincing emails that look legitimate and have accurate information regarding the borrower and loan number.  Don't feel bad.  Banks are falling for it also.  

I work with Title Companies regularly and this is becoming such a huge problem.  Many title companies are setting up their own portals and not sending wiring instructions over email any longer.  Always call to verify wiring instructions to a phone number for the escrow officer from their business card or other non-email source.  So sorry, and I truly hope that the bank can recall your wire!

First of all, I hate hearing this. What a discouragement for you. I'm glad to see that you are choosing to not allow this to stop your pursuit of your dreams. They say, "the roads that lead to places worth going, are full of challenges and disappointments." Chalk this up to being one step closer to your dreams!

The title company I use for my RE sales business has started to send all but the last 2 numbers for the wire transfer and then will only release the last 2 numbers via telephone to help avoid this situation. It has its flaws, but the customer now knows that if they have all the numbers on paper, it is a scam.

This is a very unfortunate situation especially for beginners. Thank you all for your comments. Now I know what NOT to do in the future! Are there other closing scams or scams in general that I should be aware of for future purchases? 

This is a very common fraud. Your agent should have warned you about this and given you instructions on how to avoid this. Sucks man, sorry.