Just when we thought we had heard it all, your BBB® received an alert from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) about a mortgage closing costs phishing scam that just surfaced. The scam begins with scammers hacking into consumers’ and real estate professionals’ email accounts to get information about upcoming real estate transactions.

Once the scammer has the closing dates, he/she sends an email to the buyer claiming to be the real estate agent or a title company representative. The phony email informs the buyer that the wiring instructions have changed at the last minute and tells the buyer to wire the closing costs to a different account which belongs to the scammer. Once the buyer wires the money to the scammer’s account, the buyer’s entire bank account could be wiped out with little chance of recovering the money.

In the alert the FTC tells consumers, “If you’re buying a home and get an email with money-wiring instructions, STOP. Email is not a secure way to send financial information, and your real estate professional or title company should know that.”

Click Here to get tips to avoid this phishing scam.