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Scammers use phone calls, emails, and letters to persuade people to send important financial information their way. These scammers often target those in the process of buying a new home. If you are in the market for a new home, you should be aware of email phishing scams reported by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

A common email phishing scam

The FTC said homebuyers have reported receiving emails from scammers near the closing date on their loan. The emails ask homebuyers to wire their down payment and closing costs. The scammer impersonates a real estate agent, title company, or attorney. A scam email typically says something about a check being no longer acceptable or that the wiring instructions have recently changed.

What to do if you are being scammed

Speak to your real estate agent or title company if you are receiving suspicious instructions via email. Never share financial information through email. Do not share your phone number or try to speak to someone you believe is attempting to scam you. Use caution when opening an attachment or downloading a file from an email unless you are sure of who sent the file. Files sent my email may contain malware.

Safely wiring money

Before sending a wire transfer, ask your bank to help you identify any red flags in the instructions. Check for potential discrepancies between the account name and intended beneficiary. A few hours after the wire transfer, be sure to confirm receipt of the transfer by your settlement agent or real estate agent.

Consulting your title company or agent

Your settlement agent and real estate agent want the process of home buying to go as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, a title company may handle the closing process. Title companies can also offer their expert advice. These are trusted avenues to turn to if you are unsure of something related to the home buying process. Your title company and real estate agent are there to help you with the home buying process, so don’t feel you have to do it alone.

Covenant Title Company is a subsidiary of FirstBank Southwest. As an independent insurance agent, we have underwriter relationships with Alliant National Title Insurance Company and National Investors Title Insurance Company. We also offer closing services. If you have questions about the closing process, call Julie Lamm at (806) 354-5283 or Contact Us by email.

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