Friday, September 8, 2017

Update

Thank you all for your kind words on my last post. The past week and a half has felt like 10 years and my brain is still in a fog. I finally sat down on Tuesday to catch my breath, only to get a phone call from my dentist asking where I was as I was then 20 minutes late for my appointment.

Anyway, the update on the wire fraud. He got nowhere with the bank. The account which received the money has been closed and the bank will not identify the owners without a subpoena. My son was told he had to start by filing a report with the police department in the town where he lives (even though the wire transfer took place at a bank in another town and the closing was in yet another town). He met with an officer on Sunday and shared copies of all the email exchanges. The officer then gave the information to the fraud department and my son did have a phone conversation with the detective. As we presumed, both gave him little hope that the money would be recovered or that the perpetrators would be caught ...

Next step was to file with the FBI, which he did this week. No word from them yet.

And, finally, we've decided to go after the lending company as it was there that the unsecured emails with financial information originated (despite the fact that this scam has been widely known among lending companies for more than a year and a half). This is in the early stages and will likely take some time, but we are told by others in the industry that companies such as theirs carry cyber insurance that would come into play here. We will see. At this point, all we want to do is recoup my son's money. We know that it is possible we will have to get a lawyer involved, but we are going to see if we get anywhere on our own.

This ordeal will likely go on for some time. I will post updates as I can.

Meantime, DS moved into his new home last weekend and we had a family gathering on Labor Day. It was nice to see him smiling again.

Sarah
 

Friday, September 1, 2017

Living a nightmare

This was supposed to be a great week. Our oldest son was closing on his first house Tuesday. He has been saving for years and making all the right choices in order to make this happen. He took off work, went to closing, signed all the papers and handed over confirmation of the wire transfer the lender required with his downpayment/closing costs balance.

While he and his Realtor were celebrating, the attorney came back in the room with the news that the account he sent the money to was not theirs.

My son was scammed.

Someone hacked into an email exchange between him and his lender, cloned the lender's email and sent him the info he was waiting for: account number and instructions for wiring. In looking at the exchange and the emails, I'm not sure I would have caught it either. This was a sophisticated scam.

I have since googled it and found this is a new and increasingly common scam. These thieves are good. They're efficient. And they hit the buyer when there is a flurry of activity close to closing.

The bank has confirmed that the money is gone. He lost more than $25,000. We are blessed that his grandfather stepped in and offered to loan him a chunk of that money. We pooled funds for the rest and he was able to close yesterday. But the joy of purchasing his first home was stolen from him along with the money. He said this has been the worst week of his life.

My heart is absolutely broken for him and I have not slept in 3 days. I am working now to stock his pantry for when he moves in tomorrow. I've been doing a lot of talking, telling him how fortunate he is that his family was able to help him in his darkest hour and that he is able to finish what he started (he built this house). He doesn't feel like it's his anymore, so I've been doing my best to dispel that notion. He is young (26), has a great job, is in line for a BIG raise in November and has no one else depending on him financially. Going into this, he was debt free. Now he owes his grandfather, but at no interest and with no timeline. I have told him he will earn more money and soon enough that will be behind him, too.

I don't understand people who just reach in and take everything from someone else's pockets. I just don't.

Sarah