All Posts Tagged: real estate

Business scam poses threat for real estate transactions

David Pollino
Fraud Prevention

Are you buying a new home? Among the many related details you may be considering, add this caution: Criminals may use the transaction to steal from you.

view from above as older couple looks at a laptop together while going through financial paperwork.It’s a new twist in the scam known as business email compromise, or masquerading, that I have been blogging about for a few years.  It basically involves someone sending you an email asking for money to be sent under false pretenses, and it’s a $5 billion problem. That is $5 billion in actual losses, not just fraudulent transactions. (Check out our infographic for more information.)

Here are some ways to help avoid being a victim of this type of scam during a real estate transaction:

  • Do not send funds based on an email. If you get an email with wire instructions, pick up the phone and verify all the details, especially the bank and account numbers.
  • Call to verify the receipt of funds. If you were the victim of a scam or a mistake was made, the earlier you detect it (minutes or hours), the better chance you have to recall the funds.
  • Be careful clicking on links. Real estate transactions involve a lot of paperwork, and much of that paperwork is delivered online. Instead of clicking the links, go directly to the site. See this blog post for more information.
  • Protect your email. Turn on 2-factor authentication for email to keep the criminals out.
  • Check the email address. In some cases, criminals will set up an email address very close to the real recipient. When you reply, replace the email from the sender with the known email address from your address book or a business card.

Just in case you think this may be an isolated trend rather than a serious threat, consider this: The FBI has stated that on average $5.4 million is stolen every month in real estate-related scams in the Los Angeles area.

I hope you’ll follow these steps and stay #BeCyberSafe during your house-hunting activities.

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A recipe for the millennials’ American Dream

Paul Appleton
Consumer Banking
Young couple pausing from their meal at a kitchen table to take a selfie.

It’s as if this generation took some of the classic elements of the American Dream and added several twists, building a whole new recipe.

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How it works: prequalification vs. preapproval

Victor Polich
Mortgage Banking
pregnant_check_computer_crop

In today’s competitive real estate market, getting prequalified or preapproved for a mortgage loan can provide the edge you need to get the home you want.

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What to know about down payment and asset reserve options

Victor Polich
Mortgage Banking
Young blonde woman sitting at a dining room table, looking over several pieces of financial paperwork.

Having a clear understanding about your funding sources for a mortgage, as well as being able to keep funds in reserve, may help speed the process in getting a loan.

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In the Market: A few starters for your planning process

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst
Young African American couple in a joy-filled hug in the entryway of their new house.

Experts estimate that it can take almost a year just to get your finances in a good place before purchasing a home.

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