A Boise family of five is now out $80,000 after a wire fraud scam targeted them while they were trying to buy a new home.
The Clayton's were planning on spending this Christmas in a new home, but a crook ended up hacking their realtor's email and stole their down payment.
Jaymie Clayton says she and her husband bought their current Boise home 17 years ago and have now outgrown the space.
"We are just getting to the point where we feel like our daughter needed some more space, she is sharing (a room) with her younger brother," Clayton said.
Less than a month ago, Clayton found a new home to buy.
"The kids were very excited," Clayton said. "It wasn't a super new home and it had what we needed."
Clayton took out an equity loan and the plan was to use it for a down payment, sell the current house, then use that money to pay off the loan.
"It was three weeks basically from the first time we looked at it to the time everything was approved and ready to go," Clayton said.
The Clayton's were set to close on the deal for the home on a Friday, but the deal got pushed to the following Monday.
"That's when we were communicated through a fraudulent email that posed as our realtor, saying that to line everything to close on Monday and get things to move quickly, here's the wire instructions," Clayton said. "The amount matched up with pre-closing documents, everything."
The legitimate wiring instructions then came that Monday from a loan officer.
"At that point, it was a hurry to the bank and try to get it stopped," Clayton said.
The FBI is now involved with the investigation into the scam.
Agents told Clayton that her $80,000 is gone and most likely out of the country by now, leaving her with little to no recourse to recover the money
According to Title One, this scam isn't something new.
The title and escrow company urge customers to confirm wire instructions verbally or face to face and to consider using a cashier’s check instead.
Looking back, it's something Clayton wishes she had done.
"If anything, it was just it all went so fast, and I had my schedule," Clayton said. "I was trying to make everything fit my schedule. I'm grateful we still have a home, we will still have a great Christmas."
A Go Fund Me has been created to help the Clayton's.
An Oregon couple was defrauded out of more than $100,000 in a very similar scam when they were told to wire money for a new home as well.