Better Business Bureau warns of home loan scam

Published: Oct. 16, 2019 at 4:59 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 16, 2019 at 5:00 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - A new home loan scam in Lake Charles is wiping savings accounts with the click of a button.

“The chances of getting that money back is slim to none," said Angela Guth, with the Better Business Bureau. "The chances of you getting that new home just evaporated.”

For more information about scams in our community, you can visit the Better Business Bureau website and as always if you come across a scam, report it.

According to the BBB, in 2018, there were about $1 billion in reported losses in the real estate business due to scams.

“They alter the domain address of the email to make it look legitimate and they are telling you to no longer send the proceeds to the previous information they received for their closing cost," Guth said. “You now need to send it to a new bank."

Lynn Calles, with Louisiana Mortgage, said the company does have experience with this particular scam.

She said the information looked similar - except for the email address.

“It was slightly off,” Calles said.

Guth said that research shows most of the IP addresses are originating from Nigeria. Scammers will hack an email and wait until the right time to jump in and pose as your lender - usually right around the time to close on your house.

Real estate lawyer Jack Robichaux said in a recent case, they received an email that read “Please, we preferred our proceeds wired to our bank account, how can you help with this?"

“We recognized the email address was incorrect,” Robichaux said.

To protect yourself, Calles said to call a number that you’ve verified, not the number that’s on the email.

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