Single mom loses nearly $40,000 in wire fraud after falling victim to a 'suspicious email'

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A Houston lending agency is warning potential home buyers after saying a client was scammed out of nearly $40,000 while trying to close on her new home.

"They stole all of my mother's savings," said Aramatzi Matias. "It was difficult to comprehend what was going through their mind when they're doing it."

Matias says her mother had been working two jobs, saving up as much as she could as a single parent for years.

Finally, they found a home for their small family with enough money saved up, which they could finally call their own.

Matias was with her mother at the closing appointment. They were all smiles until the title company said they never received the down payment or closing cost funds.

"She got a suspicious email, and basically what happened is they were asking for wire funds to be transferred. Unfortunately, she fell victim to it," said Waseem Bari, the district manager for Triumph Lending.

"The single mother who'd been working two jobs lost nearly $40,000 in wire fraud," said Bari.

"They don't see how hard-working a person can be to earn all of this money. They just take it away," said Matias.

"She worked all her life to save up this money for the American dream. The American dream is to own a home. She was there, moments away," said Bari. "She called me crying, in tears, devastated."

Bari says anytime you're transferring large sums of money, do it in person with a cashier's check. Always avoid wire transfers.

"Wire fraud is real, and in our industry, unfortunately, we see it more often than we like," said Bari.

Bari advised If you can't be there in person, double and triple check the account and routing numbers with the company directly. Never trust an email or someone who calls you claiming to be an employee.

Bari and his team were able to salvage their client's home loan, and she will be closing again on that dream house next week, but she is still out nearly $40,000.

This lending team set up a GoFundMe account to try to make-up for her lost savings.

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