It is illegal to participate in any kind of white collar crime. The worst are sometimes those that directly impact homeowners and families. The impact these crimes have on individuals can be devastating. That's why you need to defend yourself immediately if you're accused of participating in a scam or fraudulent activities.
The news in Minnesota reported on May 10 that there is a scam going on now that homeowners have to be aware of. This scam has affected home buyers, real estate professionals and sellers throughout the state.
What's the crime? Somehow, several real estate transactions had hundreds of thousands of dollars diverted from the sales. These funds were then stolen through fraudulent wire transfers and scam emails.
This scam is not new, and it has been going on in different places around the country. It works by gathering information about upcoming real estate closings. The individuals behind the scam hack the accounts of real estate professionals and then send a scam email to the closing agent. The email has new instructions asking to send money to an account not previously used.
How does the real estate agent not know that this is a scam? The hackers use accurate details from the transactions by searching through emails and by using the professional information on the seller's title company.
At that point, the closing agent does as he or she is asked, and the funds are lost. The hackers quickly take the funds and flee. As of today, it's believed that the people participating in these scams could be overseas, which makes it harder to stop the criminal acts.
Source: Saint Paul Patch, "MN Home Buyers: Avoid These Fake Emails, It's A Real Estate Scam," William Bornhoft, May 10, 2017