As commonplace and scary as ransomware attacks are becoming, the FBI says there’s an even more common scam to be wary of: Mortgage scams.

In the last year alone, the FBI says mortgage scams have cost people $1.8 billion dollars.

One local family lost nearly $50,000 by wiring it to scammers pretending to be his title company. They were so convincing, they even had paperwork and information – details Brendan Henkel assumed only his title company would have.

The Henkel family was about to purchase a new home. Their offer was accepted, and they were working on closing the deal when Brendan Henkel was asked to wire funds.

He had emailed his legitimate title company that morning, but somehow, a scammer hijacked the exchange, sending 23 back-and-forth emails. One even included a note of congratulations. The emails also included the legitimate name and signature from his title company contact.

“They sent me the amount that I was supposed to send, and they sent me wiring instructions,” said Henkel. “They also sent me my actual closing disclosures that the title company had in their possession.”

That disclosure detailed everything from his loan amount to his interest rate.

“$49,400 dollars was the amount we needed for cash to close,” said Henkel.

So he wired $49,400 dollars, as requested.

“I got in the car and I was like, you know what, let…

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