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Dentist from Lawrence falls prey to Hackers losing around $90,000

A dentist from Lawrence loses around $90,000 after becoming a victim to a fraud scheme. The notorious fraud scheme was the one, which for many years has plagued real estate industry.

As per the lawsuit filed by the dentist named Howard Ritchey Jr. in the U.S. District Court of Kansas City, Kansas, Ritchey had initiated a down payment for a house last year. He landed up falling prey to the hackers instead, where an amount of $88,338 was robbed off by the hackers from him. The lawsuit also alleges that title, real estate and mortgage companies who were involved in the transaction carried out by Ritchey never warned him about the scam, and failed to take precautions for preventing it. The lawsuit alleges, "they failed to adopt easily employable safeguards against unauthorized access to their email accounts and computer systems".

Michael Barbee, the attorney of Ritchey, said that the companies involved are fully aware about the scheme. He said on November 27, 2018, that "they have a duty to tell their clients about this well-known cybercrime".

Ritchey received an email that instructed him about wiring the money, i.e. where to do it and so on. The email looked as if it has come from the same title company Ritchey has been working with for purchasing his home. However, the lawsuit says that the email was actually sent by the hackers, who used a legitimate letterhead of the title company, signature blocks of all the parties who are involved, along with the email addresses that are very similar to the legitimate email addresses.

Ritchey when tried to enquire about his down payment money given, was told by his lender that probably his email account has been hacked as they have not received any money. However, Ritchey was determined to complete his transaction. So in order to complete the down payment process, Ritchey had withdrawn money from his retirement account, for which he faced penalties.

The lawsuit says that there are no evidences which can prove that Ritchey's email has been hacked. But he lost huge sum of money, and because of the same also faced financial hardships. Ritchey was affected by real estate fraud scam, for which FBI as well as real estate industry groups have issued warnings. The complaints about such crimes have been growing.

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