Buying a home can be a very exciting experience, but home buyers have increasingly been targeted by scammers using elaborate phishing schemes to divert payments into fraudulent accounts. Reports of these scams are on the rise and they are becoming more complex. Often the scammers create spoofed emails that look just like legitimate conversations with a real estate agent.

When making payments throughout the home buying experience, it’s important to practice extra precautions such as, avoid using phone numbers or links in an email and always confirm wire instructions. Remember that email is not secure and should not be used to send financial information. If you suspect that you are a victim of a scam, contact your bank or wire-transfer company immediately and file a complaint with the FBI. Learn more about how to protect yourself and your down payment by visiting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.