Freddie Mac is using "International Fraud Awareness Week," to help lenders and consumers spot and avoid the latest scams. Private and government analysts estimate mortgage fraud costs the industry and borrowers tens of billions of dollars a year. One incident of fraud alone costs a company a median of $145,000, according to estimates from the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
Freddie Mac's Financial Fraud Investigation Unit (FFIU) works across the country with law enforcement to probe suspicious activities, gather evidence, and work with prosecutors to bring fraudsters to justice. Freddie Mac investigators receive tips from lenders, consumers, law enforcement, and others.
You are critical to stopping mortgage fraud from happening. Fortunately, many mortgage frauds can be spotted by watching out for these red flags:
- Demands from "specialists" for advanced fees to guarantee one of the following:
- To replace your current credit history and make you a stronger candidate for a new mortgage, purportedly through a higher credit score or a new credit reputation.
- To get your lender to modify, refinance or reinstate your mortgage
- To stop a foreclosure by renting your house back to you after you give them the deed to your house.
- Pressure to sign any paperwork that you haven't had a chance to read or that you don't fully understand.
- A company/person you don't know asks you to release personal financial information online or over the phone.
When you or someone you knows sees something suspicious, do something about it. E-mail Freddie Mac's Financial Fraud Investigation Unit at email@example.com or call Freddie Mac's Fraud Hotline 1-800-4FRAUD8 (1-800-437-2838).
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