Couple scammed out of $147K in pursuit of Portland dream home


Hector Guerra's bank flagged the wire transfer and helped the family dodge the mortgage scam

A file photo of a woman using a laptop. (ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP via Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local family reached out to KOIN 6 News after they lost tens of thousands of dollars in a mortgage scam.

Hector Guerra and his wife thought they were buying their dream home in Southeast Portland to be near their daughters and grandkids.

Hector wired the $147,000 down payment on the closing date but the bank wiring instructions they were emailed turned out to be bogus.

“I got wiring instructions from a fake email and everything. I read the information on the email, everything looked legit to me and I didn’t hesitate to place the order for a wire,” he said.

But the family was lucky. Hector’s bank flagged the wire transfer and he learned on Thursday that he got all but $185 back and is still buying the house.

To protect yourself if you’re getting a new mortgage, be sure to call your escrow officer to verify the wiring instructions. Verify that you’re really talking to the escrow officer and not a scammer who emailed a bogus number.

Learn more by visiting the following links:

US Dept of Justice: Hundreds arrested for business fraud schemes
National Association of Realtors: Wire Fraud
New York Times: “How to Protect Yourself From Real Estate Scams”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Twitter News Widget

Trending Stories