June – National Home Ownership Month

May 25, 2022

Owning a home can be a big milestone in someone’s life. Unfortunately, in the current real estate market, it can be difficult to snag your dream home (or any home at all). The last thing you need after finding your home is to fall victim to a scam or fraud. According to the Federal Trade Commission, there has been a 70 percent increase in frauds and scams plaguing home buyers since 2020 [1]. It is important to familiarize yourself with the latest scams and frauds in order to protect yourself.

Following are the latest scams that are plaguing homeowners:

  • Moving Scams – Paying a deposit for a move and the company never shows up. Receiving a quote, but when the movers get all of your items onto the truck, they add additional fees. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) reports that in 2021 approximately $730,000.00 was lost to moving scams. This is a 216% increase from 2020.
  • Home Title Fraud – Identity theft is on the rise. If you find yourself in the hands of a home title fraud, it may mean the loss of your home as well as your identity.
  • Escrow Wire Fraud – Fraudsters pretend to be your title/lending company then request that you wire escrow funds to them.
  • Refinance/Mortgage Scams – These fraudsters ask you to make payments to be sent directly to them in exchange for negotiating a refinance or mortgage modification on your behalf. They then take off with your money and you fall behind on your payments.
  • Home improvement scams – Fraudsters can pose as contractors and offer to do work and finance it as well. After the work is completed, they sell the loan to a lender leaving you with debt and sub-par work.

To protect yourself from these scams, be sure to research the company/individual before giving anyone your personal/home/bank information. If you believe you have been targeted, you can report these concerns to the Federal Trade Commission at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.

 

[1] The Federal Trade Commission

February 22, 2022

https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/news/press-releases/2022/02/new-data-shows-ftc-received-28-million-fraud-reports-consumers-2021-0

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