The single biggest purchase the average person makes in their lifetime is their home. Most people need to take out a substantial loan from the bank just to afford such a purchase, and the repayment on it takes so long that the root of the word “mortality” is included in the name for this loan type: mortgage. As such, it’s disappointing but unsurprising that scammers would go out of their way to try to get some of that money.
Experts are now warning families to keep a lookout for new mortgage scams that could be targeting them the next time they refinance, or for new homeowners who are getting their first mortgage. What kinds of scams should you be on the lookout for, and how could scammers get their hands on your money? Read on to find out more.
You might think, given the size of mortgage payouts and the restrictions surrounding them, that it would be extremely difficult for a scammer to get someone’s mortgage money. Generally, you’d be right: it’s not easy for a scammer to put themselves in the middle of a mortgage. However, when successful, these scams can cost homeowners thousands of dollars, and, even when they get caught, these scammers can keep your money tied up for months or even years.
In short, these scams are more common than you’d think, and you could be at more risk for them than you realize. There are several types of these mortgage scams, and they’re insidious.
The main culprit in these scams is the tried-and-true phishing scam. This is a type of scam that uses skillful subterfuge to steal your login information. Usually this is in the form of faked websites that look like the real thing, where you input your login info in the normal fields, only for the information to reach a scammer.
If you’re logging in to pay your mortgage, or using your loan money to pay for the home, be careful! Double check the website and make sure it’s the secured version, the authentic website you need to be using for this transaction. Otherwise, you could be accidentally giving your wire transfer information to a scammer who is trying to steal your money.
Remember: if something looks off, check the URL. When you’re moving huge sums of money, you can never be too careful.