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Posted on by Dale Roe

Mortgage, student loan scams on the rise

Blog post

Are you buying a new home? The Round Rock Police Department is alerting the public about an increasingly popular wire-transfer phishing scam involving mortgage down payments that’s happened multiple times locally.

According to KVUE, scammers are targeting mortgage lenders and real estate agents and obtaining — through phishing or hacked email messages — locations of impending real estate purchases, down payment amounts, closing dates, and other specific, private information they can use to craft realistic-looking communications to unsuspecting borrowers.

The scammers contact these borrowers close to their closing dates claiming that there has been a timetable change and demanding sudden down payments. Local borrowers have lost large amounts of money due to this scam — sometimes in excess of $100,000.

The funds can be nearly impossible to recover.

To learn more about this scam and ways to protect yourself, check out the story on KVUE.

Student loan scam

Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s announcement of its student loan forgiveness program has brought more scammers out of the woodwork. Student loans have long been a popular entry point for scammers, but they have ramped up their efforts in the uncertainty surrounding the new program.

According to the article, there are some basic ways to protect yourself, including:

  • Don’t pay any upfront fees
  • Don’t sign up for quick loan forgiveness offers
  • Don’t automatically trust legitimate-looking communications
  • Don’t be rushed
  • Never share your Federal Student Aid ID

For more tips, including possible remedies if you’ve already fallen victim and where to report these scams, view the NPR story here.

Reminder: Velocity will never contact you by email, text, or phone to ask you for personal account information — that includes your card number, PIN, account number or online banking password, or one-time password. Never reveal this information to someone who contacts you.