Antus67

Level 4
Verified
The Federal Bureau of Investigation has issued a warning after a family from Oregon lost their life savings in a business email compromise scam involving money mules.

Aaron Cole and his wife decided to move into a bigger house after welcoming two children into their family. The couple sold their existing home, and the title company told them they would be in touch soon with instructions for making the down payment on their new house.

Aaron's wife received an email on December 4, 2018, from what appeared to be the title company and sent $122,850 to the account number provided in the message. A few days later, Aaron received a phone call from the title company to inform him it was time to wire the down payment.

An FBI spokesperson said: "The Coles had been the victims of a business email compromise scam and had wired their money to a criminal who had spoofed the title company’s email address and sent them fake wire instructions. Their down payment had been funneled into one account and then broken up and sent to four other banks."

After falling victim to the scam, the Cole family was left in a situation where they couldn't make the down payment on their new house and had fewer than three weeks to vacate their current home.
 

Cortex

Level 14
Verified
I think people are used to the security of the past whee you would call into a bank etc & sort such things out face to face & forget times are different, maybe more for some of the older generation - Sad situation but an easy type of trap to fall into esp when it's a stressful time when our normal protections are down. The family were at fault for not double checking but at the end of the day it was the thief who was the instigator & deliberately stealing money - One way or another a lesson?
 

plat1098

Level 12
Verified
Oh, this is harsh. You're tempted to criticize the victims alright but sometimes one can take off the Malwaretips hat and try to sympathize--it seemed a very well-orchestrated crime. Somehow, the home sale info was handed over and then spoofed on the fly. Was the title co. the weak link, I wonder? Does the bank cover this kind of loss thru FDIC? Hope so.

A bad time and season for this. GoFundMe sounds good about now, right?
 

upnorth

Level 38
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Oh, this is harsh. You're tempted to criticize the victims alright but sometimes one can take off the Malwaretips hat and try to sympathize--it
I salute you for think like that and also express it. 🥂

Those where normal folks. Neighbors, and not some damn CEOs or Bank executives. It's too easy to point fingers on the little one and say you should know better and it's your own fault anyway. How is that helping anything really. If everyone should be so smart and clever 24/7 and do the right thing as it's obvious, odd that so many also fall victims.
The family’s savings was gone. Their down payment had been funneled into one account and then broken up and sent to four other banks. Within days, the money would be on its way out of the country and into the control of those who carried out the scheme.

The Cole family had already sold their existing home with a move out deadline of December 23. Now, they couldn’t complete the sale of their new house, had little left in savings, and in a few weeks would have nowhere to call home.


My prays go out to this family and their kids as it's damn shame what happened.