Scammers Are Trying to Dupe Homeowners Who Need Help
March 27, 2020
Scam artists are reportedly using multiple methods, including spoofing tactics, to try to trick struggling homeowners with offers of financial aid. Freddie Mac warned this week that it learned of a scam where borrowers were receiving fraudulent calls impersonating the mortgage financing giant in offering low interest rates and other false promises.
Freddie Mac says it will never reach out to consumers over the phone with a refinancing opportunity or a new loan.
As some homeowners struggle from the economic toll of the COVID-19 outbreak, scammers are looking to take advantage of those looking for help. They may call owners offering immediate relief from foreclosure or relief from making mortgage payments.
Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and many lenders are offering programs to help homeowners at this time, but those calls need to be initiated by the owner.
“Spoofing is when a caller deliberately falsifies the information transmitted to your caller ID in an effort to disguise their identity while pretending to be someone else,” Freddie Mac warns in a statement about the growing scam.
“During times of distress, it is important to be on your guard against fraud schemes,” Freddie Mac says in a post.
Here are some tips from Freddie Mac to help homeowners avoid being scammed:
- If a call comes from an unknown number, let it go to voicemail. If it’s important, the caller will leave a message.
- If you answer and receive a robocall, don’t press any numbers. Hang up.
- Never give out any personal, financial, or other sensitive information unless you’ve verified the caller is a legitimate source.
- Be cautious of numbers on your caller ID since scammers can make any name or number appear.
“Avoiding Fraud: Call Spoofing,” Freddie Mac (March 25, 2020) and “Avoid Getting Caught Up in Coronavirus Scams Involving Your Mortgage,” Forbes.com (March 26, 2020)
Updated: April 16, 2021