30 Sep 2007 FBI Study Warns of Home Equity Loan Fraud
The FBI website contains an April 2008 warning about identity theft and Home Equity Line of Credit loans. The warning details findings from a 2007 FBI study of fraud in the mortgage and real estate industry. The FBI believes thieves steal a person’s identity to either open a new line of credit over the internet or access an open line of credit. After the loan is approved the thief asks the bank to wire money to a different account. This scheme involves surreptitiously forwarding telephone calls and changing account address information so that the thief communicates with the lending bank to falsely verify account information. Once the bank satisfies what it thinks is due diligence in speaking with the account holder, the bank unwittingly sends to money to the dummy account. The FBI warns people to regularly check the account balances on their open lines of credit. A better policy is to close down unused accounts.
Andy Miofsky, Esq.
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