Buyer Bilked Out of $123K: ‘Just Like That, It’s Gone’

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Aaron Cole and his family lost $123,000 — their entire down payment for a $440,000 house — when Aaron fell for a scam email that purported to be from WFG National Title Insurance Company. The email, which included a lot of real information about the sale and looked authentic, gave Aaron fake instructions for wiring the down payment. Neither his financial institution nor the FBI was able to recover the Cole family’s money, which became part of the $1 billion that Americans have lost to real estate-related scams.

Key Takeaways:

    • According to the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, Americans like the Cole family have lost nearly a billion dollars in real-estate related scams.
    • While Aaron immediately contacted his financial institution and the FBI, nobody was able to recover his money.
    • Always make sure that you confirm payment information with your real estate agent in person or over the phone, and not by email, even if the email looks authentic.

“Falling prey to a wire fraud scheme, he lost the down payment that took his family years to save.”

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