Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Couple Face Foreclosure After Falling For Mortgage Payment Hijacking Scam; Signed Up For $1700/mo Bogus 'Auto-Pay' Deal While Home Loan Went Unpaid

In Portland, Oregon, KATU-TV Channel 2 reports:

  • A year and a half worth of mortgage payments were stolen from a local couple in a phishing scheme. he money went to an offshore bank account operated by someone pretending to be a Bank of America employee. A person calling herself Lisa McNaughton sent the Schelhaas family an automatic payment agreement that looked legitimate but it wasn't from Bank of America at all.

  • The family bought the home 18 years ago and refinanced about five years ago. A couple years later they got a letter in their mailbox asking if they wanted to start automatic withdrawals.

  • The family thought it was making payments on their Southeast Portland home after agreeing to those electronic transfers. More than $1,700 was coming out of their checking account per month.

  • And then in May 2010 they received a foreclosure notice posted on their front door that they were 18 months behind on payments. They were shocked and said they had every reason to believe the payments were being made."Yeah, no reason not to," said Dan Schelhaas. "Like I say when the letter is coming on Bank of America letterhead, with our account number, property address and all of that kind of stuff."

  • Schelhaas said he knows the $31,000 did not go to Bank of America but to someone living in a foreign country. He and his wife learned recently their home will go on the auction block March 30. According to a Bank of America representative, the bank normally communicates by mail and phone and the contact is more frequent as someone becomes more delinquent.

For the story, see Family gets ripped off in mortgage phishing scam.

No comments: