FBI: cybercrimes are on the rise
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — On Dec. 14, 2018, Aaron Cole was about to buy a new house and received an email that he thought was from his title company, directing him to make a $123,000 deposit.
Cole complied, not realizing that a sophisticated hacker network had likely been spying on his communications with the title company and that although the email looked like others he had received from the title company, this time, the email address was slightly different.
A week later, the title company called, advising him it was time to send money. The Oregon man suddenly realized he had given away his family’s life savings to criminals. The money was from the sale of their former house.
“It was the worst feeling,” Cole said Friday. “And then having to go home and tell my wife that I just gave away all the money. She could tell right when I walked in the house and just sat down, and I just couldn’t come up with the words to tell her.”
In 2015, $220 million was lost to wire fraud in the United States. In 2019, losses will surpass $1.5 billion, according to WFG National Title Insurance Company.