Texas Man warns potential buyers after being defrauded – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

An Irving man was defrauded of over $40,000 while trying to close on his new home – now he wants to warn other potential buyers.

It is a scheme in which hackers infiltrate legitimate email conversations and send fake money wiring instructions.

Manish Sharma has spent years saving the down payment for his family’s dream home.

The first-time home buyer moved from out of state and viewed more than 40 homes before settling on one in Irving.

“I love this place, it’s warm, sunny, sunny, I have a lot of friends here so I really wanted to settle down and there’s a really good school district. I got my job” , Sharma said.

Three days before closing, Sharma apparently received an email from the title company. It included wiring instructions for down payment and costs. Sharma followed the instructions and then showed up in person for the closing as scheduled.

“When I asked the title company for the keys, they said, ‘Where’s the money? Where’s the final amount?’ I said, “I already wired you.” He said, “No, we never got it.” I said, “That can’t be because I wired you. ‘” Sharma said.

But an email had turned his dream into a nightmare. It was from an impostor who created a new email address similar to one used by a legitimate title company agent.

“I transferred the money to someone I never intended to,” Sharma said.

The money went straight to a criminal.

“I was devastated. My whole body went numb. I got a chill. That’s all I can say,” Sharma said. “Every dollar I saved to buy this house, I lost it all at once.”

Unfortunately, this type of real estate cable fraud is growing, according to the National Association of Realtors.

“A lot of times these wire scams involve a last minute change in payment instructions, so they’ll say, ‘Hey, here’s the new instructions, you actually have to send the money here,’ and buyers will comply.” , Lesley said. Murchow of the National Association of Realtors.

“They look legit. They’re sent at the right time, and the email address is unless you look very closely, they look like they were sent by a party you’ve been communicating with all along,” Murchow said. .

Sharma said it impacted her entire life.

“I couldn’t sleep for five nights, six nights. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t drink. I lost all my peace,” Sharma said.

He had to find more money to close the house which devastated him financially. Although the receiving bank has saved 60% of their money, but so far the rest is lost.

“So now I’m living like a paycheck. That’s the whole situation now,” Sharma said.

Now he hopes his experience will be a warning to others.

The FBI says that if you fall victim to one of these scams, contact your bank immediately and ask them to verify where the transfer was sent, then notify your local FBI office as well as the Crime Complaint Center at Agency website.

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