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ALTA Warns Consumers of Scams

Despite efforts by the title industry and others to educate consumers about the risk, homebuyers continue to be targeted.

(Boonton, NJ, June 29, 2017) — Homebuyers are being targeted by wire fraud schemes aiming to poach funds for real estate closings, and the American Land Title Association (ALTA) wants the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to take action.

"Despite efforts by the title industry and others to educate consumers about the risk, homebuyers continue to be targeted," says Michelle Korsmo, ALTA’s chief executive officer. "With the spring homebuying season underway, it’s vital to continue raising awareness about these schemes. The CFPB should take this opportunity to protect consumers from criminals looking to steal their money."

The scam typically plays out like this: Fraudsters gain access to unsecure email accounts used by consumers or real estate professionals. They use this access to find transaction patterns and details to make their phony instructions seem legitimate. Thieves instruct the buyers to send the funds to an account, and the money vanishes.

More on recent consumer scams and resources to help business owners protect their email accounts appears in Real Estate Broker’s Insider newsletter.

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