Fraudsters focus on real estate foreclosure scams

The Secret Service sought to identify the crooks transferring millions of stolen dollars from banks in the New York tri-state area.

A Bloomberg report cites an agent who says he reviewed a government database — the Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3 — when looking at business email compromises (BECs), scams where hackers infiltrate corporate accounts to send fake invoices, contract payments and other bogus wire transfer requests.

Secret Service agent allegedly discovered over $9 million in stolen funds affecting over 50 victims in different areas of the New York Tri-State Area – real estate victims lost over $2 million dollars between them.

BECs have recently found a new target among homebuyers, who fall for scams just as they are about to close on a dream home. Instead, they end up wiring up hundreds of thousands of hackers.

According to the agent, BEC scammers use a “shotgun” approach, initially compiling contact information for various real estate players, including lawyers, brokers, title agencies, mortgage lenders and others, and Sending mass phishing emails to trick someone into inadvertently providing login credentials.

Those who are tricked will submit their credentials and then come across some sort of error page, which they will not recognize as an indicator that their information has been stolen. Hackers then use the credentials to monitor a real estate transaction for months, learning small details that allow them to swoop in just when a payment is about to be pulled and present themselves as the legitimate account. for the transfer.

PYMNTS wrote about research it had done with Featurespace on the fraud problem, with the data revealing how difficult it is for officials to stop hackers and fraudsters.

Read more: Fed Fraud Classifier Offers Consistent View of Data Across Banks

The Federal Reserve launched its FraudClassifier model two years ago to help correct inconsistencies in fraud classification and simplify the system.

PYMNTS and Featurespace institutions surveyed said they lost more than $100 million in the past year.

New PYMNTS Study: How Consumers Use Digital Banks

A PYMNTS survey of 2,124 US consumers shows that while two-thirds of consumers have used FinTechs for some aspect of banking, only 9.3% call them their primary bank.

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