MADISON, Wis. (11/20/14)--CUNA Mutual Group issued an alert this week regarding a wave of fraud that originates from home equity lines of credit (HELOCs) and requests wire transfers be sent to construction company accounts.
Wire transfer fraud involving HELOCs first surfaced in 2006, but this appears to be a new round of attacks that are hitting credit unions nationwide, according to the risk alert.
After mortgages are filed and become public record, cybercriminals scrape data from the public documents to learn where members have HELOC accounts from which they can steal.
Recent frauds have been conducted by requesting wire transfers be sent to accounts in the name of construction companies to make it look like advances for home improvement projects. In certain cases the companies are legitimate, and are used as "money mules."
The fraud incidents featured a number of common traits, including: