What to look for to keep fraudsters out of your account
Just a few years ago, most of us could spot a cyber scam from a mile away. They had typos, bad grammar, and obviously fake logos. Today, it’s not that easy. Organized criminal groups have become experts at imitating the businesses you trust through fake email addresses, social media sites, and Caller ID numbers.
Now, they’re targeting people with mortgages, even if the loan is in default or part of a mortgage relief program. Using publicly available information, they contact you with a made-up issue. It's easy to believe them since they mention your name, address, and mortgage servicer. Once they have your attention, they’ll try every trick in the book to steal your money or identity.
When someone sends their mortgage payment to fraudsters, it’s gone. As much as we would like to help, we cannot assist with recovering lost funds. That’s why it’s important for homeowners to be extra cautious with their mortgage information.
Below, we share how to recognize deceptive messages and what to do if you receive one.
Tips for spotting a fake message about your mortgage
Here are some ways to tell that a message is not from Flagstar Bank:
- You receive a direct message about your loan on social media. Social media is not secure, so we don’t use it to discuss something as important as your mortgage.
- You receive a text message asking about your loan. We don’t text people to discuss their mortgage either. However, you can set up automated text alerts in MyLoans that notify you when a statement is available or a payment has posted to your account. Automated texts won’t ask for your information.
- Someone contacts you and asks for your MyLoans username or password, Social Security number, or credit card number. Flagstar already has your mortgage information, and we don’t need to know how you log into MyLoans. Also, we don’t accept credit cards for mortgage payments.
- We will not ask you to make a payment with a gift card or mobile payment app. But fraudsters certainly will because they can disappear as soon as they have your money.
- Flagstar will not guarantee a better loan term for an upfront fee. If you are having trouble making your mortgage payment, please contact us directly so we can help.
Tips to protect yourself from fraud
Before responding to an email or call, use these tips to protect yourself from fraudsters.
- Bad grammar and poorly written sentences are still signs of fraud. Don’t reply to or click the links in these messages.
- Look closely at the sender’s address in your email messages. If it’s from a free email service or an address you don’t recognize, it is not from Flagstar. If you’re unsure, call 800-968-7700 for assistance.
- Don’t recognize a phone number? Let it go to voicemail. Fraudsters won’t leave a message.
- Hang up on robocalls. Do not follow the prompts, even if it’s to stop receiving these calls.
- Never share personal or financial information unless you know you are speaking to someone from that company.
What to do if you receive a fraudulent message
- Suspicious emails: Do not open any attachments or reply. Forward the message to [email protected].
- Suspicious texts or DMs: Take a screenshot of the message and send it to [email protected] along with any additional details.
- You’ve already clicked a link or called the fraudsters: Log into MyLoans and change both your username and password, then contact Flagstar at 800-968-7700. If you can’t log in, reset your password here, then ask for a new username when you call.
- You’ve become a victim of a mortgage fraud scheme: Call 248-312-6080 or email our Mortgage Fraud Investigation Unit at [email protected]. Include your name, contact information, loan number, and concerns.