A sophisticated scam targeting homebuyers robbed a couple of their life savings, and real estate experts say everyone shopping for a place to live is at risk.
NBC Bay Area spoke with multiple homebuyers who fell victim to the same scheme: hackers, intercepting emails and spoofing agents, conned them into sending their down payments to the thieves' bank accounts. By the time the victim realizes what has happened, the money — and the crooks — are long gone.
Among the victims is Cindy Bernal. The San Jose grandmother told us she has had enough of the cost of living in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"Our rent is currently $1,500," she said. "They're going to raise it up, double."
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