Yes. So, it’s actually the first time I think I’ve ever been part of a serious phishing scam, and I’ve educated a lot of my clients over the years in security – both my family and friends – on awareness. In fact, my wife is the security-awareness manager for a technology company. You can imagine our dinner conversations are not the most exciting, but we do talk shop quite a bit.
We recently were purchasing a home, and two days before the purchase of our home, we received an email that we were what’s called cleared to close. Once we received this email, the next step is a wire transfer that is performed to the title company so that the funds are in the account; you can sign all the paperwork, and they can disperse to the relevant parties. Well, on this night that we received our clear to close, the next morning, I woke up, and at approximately eight o’clock in the morning, I had a follow-up email from the group, the title company, our realtor, all the folks that were on this clear to close, stating that it’s time to wire money.
Normally, you would do it a couple days later, but if we want to do it a little bit early, just let us know, and they’d be happy to provide this information. Thinking through this, and after dealing with buying a home for 30 days and just wanting everything to be over with, I replied with this email: “Sure, send over the instructions.” The instructions were sent over to me, and upon opening them up, it’s just a word document with no headers or footers or anything, just routing information, and it looks a little bit odd. Given my wife’s career and my career, we always said when it came to wiring this money, we would actually call our title company and confirm the wire instructions when we did this.
So, upon calling our title company, they informed us they never sent an email out at all. They would never email these wiring instructions, which we were not surprised to hear, and so we started digging in at that point and looking as to what had happened.