The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) urges consumers verify that any escrow agent they do business with is authorized to do business as an escrow agent. DFI received a report that a Washington State consumer lost more than $30,000 in a scam involving a fake escrow agent. Scammers contacted the consumer by phone and claimed that somebody wanted to buy the consumer’s land. The scammers claimed to work with “Resort Closing Inc” and that Resort Closing Inc would close the sale.
The scammers told the consumer to wire money to individuals in Largo and Lakeland, Florida repeatedly. Over several months the consumer wired money to the scammers more than seventy times. In total, the consumer wired more than $30,000.
There is no evidence that the land sale was real or that the individuals involved in the scam actually worked with an escrow agent. The consumer has not recovered his money. The following phone numbers appear to be associated with the scam:
“Resort Closing Inc” should not be confused with Resort Closings, Inc., an escrow company licensed in Montana, or Resort Closing Network LLC, a company registered with the Florida Secretary of State.
Escrow agents offering services related to the purchase and sale of property in Washington State must be licensed by DFI. To verify an escrow agent’s license, visit www.dfi.wa.gov and click “Verify a License.”
In Washington State, escrow services may also be performed by several other types of businesses. These include:
- Insurance companies registered with the Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner.
- Attorneys licensed to practice law in Washington State.
- State and federally chartered banks and credit unions.
- Real estate brokers licensed by the Washington State Department of Licensing (provided they do not charge a fee for escrow services).
Resort Closing Inc is not licensed by DFI or otherwise authorized to perform escrow services in Washington State.
Report Suspicious Activity, Scams, or Fraud
Washington State residents only: If you suspect illegal or fraudulent activity involving a financial product or service, please contact the Department at 1-877-RING-DFI (746-4334), or online at www.dfi.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam please contact the Federal Trade Commission at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or online at www.ftc.gov; or contact the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (855) 411-CFPB (2372) or online at www.consumerfinance.gov. You may also wish to contact the Office of the Attorney general at www.atg.wa.gov.
If you feel you have been the victim of a scam involving the internet please contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center online at www.ic3.gov.
If you live in another state, go to this webpage to find a regulator in your home state. http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/consumer/Pages/AgencyContacts.aspx