Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Buying a house? Hackers targeting escrow firm's email accounts

Couple buying a house wires closing funds to the hackers.

The good news is that the couple will be getting their money back.  The bad news is that the banks involved are arguing over liability, so the couple will have to buy a different house:
The Littles had to cancel the contract on the house they were prepared to occupy in December. Most of their cash was tied up in this account that the banks were haggling over, and so they opted to get a heavily mortgaged small townhome instead, with the intention of paying off the mortgage when their stolen funds are returned.
It doesn't always work out this way:
The Littles’ story has a fairly happy ending, however most of the other few dozens stories previously featured on this blog about wayward mortgage, escrow and payroll payments wound up with the victim losing six figures at least.
My recommendation is that if you have to transfer money for this sort of thing, call the firm on the telephone and have them confirm the account numbers before you send the cash.

Bootnote: there's quite a good interview with law professor Charisse Castagnoli, an old friend and colleague.  She's wicked smart, so read the whole thing.

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