Homebuyers beware: Police warn about mortgage frauds

News release: The Barrie Police Service

Buying a home is likely the biggest financial transaction most people will take part in, and homebuyers should be aware of a new type of fraud that could have a big impact on your purchase.

After gaining access to sensitive information about your real estate transaction, fraudsters will send you an email that may look as if it’s from your real estate agent or your attorney. The email will contain information and instructions on where to wire your closing funds for your purchase.

Unfortunately, once you send the wire transfer, the fraudster will divert the funds to their own accounts.

When purchasing a home, make sure you fully understand the closing process. If you receive an email or text instructions from your real estate or legal team, make sure to speak with them via phone or in-person to confirm the details. Be on the lookout for email addresses that may be legitimate-looking, but aren’t the official email address for that person.

Although buying a home can be a stressful and fast-paced process, there is always time to ensure you’re not falling victim to fraud. This is a type of fraud known as “spear phishing” and the Barrie Police Service Fraud Unit has recently received the first report of this type of occurrence happening in our city.

March is Fraud Prevention Month and throughout the month we’ll be sharing Fraud Alerts and additional information on how to recognize, reject and report fraud. Visit www.BarriePolice.ca/Fraud-Prevention for more information.

Banner image – file photo – Barrie 360

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