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Maine homebuyers see more than $100K returned after losing it to scam

Courtney Macleod said she went to make a down payment on a house when she was scammed out of thousands of dollars.

SCARBOROUGH, Maine — It's not every day that a wire fraud victim gets all their money back. 

In the case of the Macleod family, they did. 

Courtney Macleod and her family found the perfect home in Scarbrough. The process was smooth up until closing when Macleod got an email with information for a wire transfer. She sent more than $100,000.

"To add legitimacy to their scam, they were impersonating our broker who's actually family and seemingly encouraging us to wire the money," she said. "That was maybe something that probably made us not do some of our due diligence in following up to make sure it was going to the appropriate person." 

Macleod didn't realize they were the victim of a scam until she checked in with her title company days later. 

"I was in disbelief," she said. 

A small chance of getting all of the money back. 

"That money represented our future," Macleod added.

The money was eventually returned. Macleod said she doesn't exactly know why but thinks it has something to do with a bank claim she made. 

"For us, it really felt like a miracle to wake up and found out [the money] was back in our account," she said.

In 2021, the FBI reported more than 11,000 people lost $350,328,166 to real estate scams.

Click here to go to the FBI's list of resources and tips for avoiding these scams. 

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