Tacoma, WA – A young couple recently had their dream of owning a home destroyed. They were finalizing the purchase of a modest home in Tacoma when they received an email from their “loan officer” requesting that they wire the final $12,000 in closing costs.
They didn’t think anything of it until they called their loan officer, excitedly telling him that they’d sent the closing amount for the house. They were devastated when the loan officer asked, “What money?” They had been scammed – it was never the loan officer who had asked for their money.
The couple’s bank was able to trace the wired money to a bank in Florida, where the scammer there had already withdrawn the majority of the wired amount.
Keith Eldridge of KOMO News interviewed David Quinlan of the Better Business Bureau. David stated that it has been incredibly common for scammers to attempt to hack emails, and that they will commonly add “gmail.com” to the email address. David also encouraged everyone to “Take a deep breath. Relax. If you receive one of these emails, obviously contact your Realtor first to make sure it’s authentic.”
This same scam seems to be “sweeping” the country. Connie Thompson of KOMO News has done many stories on this same type of scam. Connie said that often times, it’s the emails of the mortgage or title companies that are being hacked. However in the case of the young Tacoma couple, it is thought that it was their own email that was hacked.
The Isom’s, the young couple in Tacoma, hope that the bank, mortgage company, and/or title company may be able to help get some of the money back, but they are doubtful that it will happen. The couple is obviously devastated that they fell for the scam and lost their money. Most of all, they wanted to share their story to help make sure that this doesn’t happen to anyone else.