Best Practices to Avoid Mortgage Scams
The first protective measure you should adopt to protect yourself against scams? And we’re talking any scam here. The first and best step is to commit to completely ignoring any contacts on social media, text messages, or emails related to your mortgage that you did not expect or initiate.
You can get unsolicited messages that are NOT scams--it happens all the time. But what you want to avoid? Responding to anyone contacting you trying to get you to click on a link, provide your account information, or perform some other act that ultimately leads to you being potentially compromised.
Responding to that email, text, etc. in any way using the contact information provided in the message you didn’t expect from someone asking you to do these things?
That’s a bad idea.
In general, you should commit to not responding to such messages. You may be contacted about a wire transfer issue, a closing costs issue, or some other money-related problem. And yes, your lender may legitimately need to contact you for such purposes.
That’s why it’s a great idea to work with your lender or broker to identify two trusted people at the bank or broker’s office--people who can confirm any wire transfer or funds transfer request you may have been given.
And for consumers who face an email, text message, or social media direct message that includes a phone number or a link asking you to click or call for some purpose?
How do you know when these communications are legitimate? Verifying is the key--and not using the info provided in the questionable message.
You understand that correctly--it’s a bad idea to use the links or the phone number provided in the message.
Instead, call the company’s commonly advertised central number. Get transferred to the person allegedly trying to contact you. This can help you avoid calling or clicking through to someone who may be pretending to be your lender or another trusted agent.
And finally, DO NOT send financial information over email, text, or chat. That includes account numbers and other private information. And ask yourself--does the lender really want to ask you about your private account numbers over an unsecured line or platform like text messages? Your lender knows better than to do that.
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