(Illustration courtesy Pixabay)

When my husband and I closed on our newest home in December, I remember vividly the flurry of emails between the lender, the title company, our Realtor, and more. It seemed like daily — and especially as the closing date drew nearer, hourly — there was some new form that would need to be signed, or some new update on the process.

So when I heard last week of a family in Frisco (who declined to be named for this story) who showed up at closing thinking they had already paid their down payment, only to find that the emailed instructions they got were a fraud, it didn’t sound improbable.

You get a lot of emails. And if one came from what appeared to be a title company or a lender and you had never bought a home before (or hadn’t purchased one in a while) you might take a request to wire your down payment as some kind of new, modern way to do it.

Only, it’s not. And this family showed up at closing and were surprised when they were asked for the customary check for the down payment. It was literally the first time they knew that the thousands of dollars they had saved were gone forever. (more…)