Editor’s note: Initially it was reported that the buyer’s realtor was also scammed; however, further clarification revealed it was her realtor’s email address that was modified and replied to by the scammer. We regret the error.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – The current real estate market has many people making large down payments to get their new home. But a growing real estate scam targeting people in the region nearly snared Allison Boekenoogen.
Scammers pose as the title company to try to make you send that down payment into the wrong account, losing both your future home but a fortune in cash.
Right before closing a deal to buy a home with a down payment of $200,000, Boekenoogen got an email that looked like it came from the title company.
Her realtor’s email address was also modified and was replied to by a scammer as part of the scheme, her realtor tells KOIN 6 News.
But just before she closed the deal, she called the company to double check. That’s when they told her she nearly lost everything.
“The only time I realized it was when I was on the phone outside the bank clarifying one last time where the money was supposed to go, how everything was going to work, and the lender said, ‘We have not been talking all day. I did not send those emails,'” she told KOIN 6 News. “And my whole world, I just kind of went blank. All these feelings went racing through my brain, and it wasn’t actually until about 2 hours later when i went through everything with a fine tooth comb and started realizing, ‘What about this and what about that and my real estate agent’ — and none of it was real.”
Boekenoogen said she’s thankful for the title company and her real estate agent who told her to call and triple check every time she wired money.
The most shocking part, she said, was how real everything looked, especially because she had been doing it all through her phone.
The advice: Slow down, try not to get caught up in the rush of finally closing on a house in this market.