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Scammers finding new ways to take advantage of homebuyers


With down payments also more than they've ever been, scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of homebuyers.
Published: Jun. 6, 2022 at 7:58 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Home prices are higher than ever according to the National Association of Realtors.

With down payments more than they’ve ever been, scammers are finding new ways to take advantage of homebuyers.

A Middle Tennessee man has a warning for others after he lost a quarter of a million dollars.

Randall Shaw still can’t stomach the fact he almost lost that much money.

“It’s very, very sickening,” Shaw said.

The $226,000 was a down payment for property in Florida.

“We wired the money,” Shaw said.

Experts said the record high home prices plus higher down payments make wire transfer fraud even more appealing for scammers.

“They’re so sophisticated. They can move that money so quickly. They can’t track it down,” Diane Tomb, CEO of the American Land Title Association, said.

In Shaw’s case, like many others, it started with an email appearing to be from the title company with wiring instructions, instructions that send your money to scammers and not the title company.

“Nobody should every wire money based on an email they received,” Tomb said.

Instead, Tomb suggests calling your title company on the phone to confirm all the details.

An email asking to change anything she said is a warning sign.

Shaw was fortunate to get his money back but knows others might not be so lucky.

“If you’re wiring money out there, you need to make sure that it gets authenticated before you send it,” Shaw said.

Other red flags you want to be looking for?

  • If you’re ever asked to wire money early or the amount changes and you’re notified by email, call your bank immediately.
  • If you think you’re a victim of wire fraud, click to report it.

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