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Beware of Fraudulent Wire Transfer Information at Closings

By Wanda Norge

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Association of Realtors want to make you aware of a national cyber-scam that steals money directly from homebuyers and sellers.

Here's how the scam works: Hackers break into an email account of a real estate professional, title company, or consumer to search for upcoming real estate transactions, contact information and closing dates. Then, hackers pose as the agent or title officer and email the homebuyer with last-minute changes to wiring instructions. They may slightly modify an email address. Such a minor change can go unnoticed. By the time anyone realizes that something is wrong, the money has gone to an untraceable bank account, leaving people at the closing table with no funds to purchase the home.

This happened to a couple from Longmont earlier this year that were selling their home and buying a new home in Parker. They lost $272,000 – their proceeds from the sale that was to be used as their down payment. This case turned into a lawsuit involving the bank, real estate agents, title company and lender.

Here are a few things you can do to make sure you don't fall victim to this scam:

Verbally contact the person/Be alert: Prior to wiring any money, verbally contact the title company person handling your transaction. Confirm the wiring information is accurate. Your real estate broker or loan officer can get you the correct title person contact number, but this is also located on your title documents from the transaction.

Use secure document technology: DocuSign, RightSignature, zipLogix, Dropbox, can be used for sharing or signing sensitive documents. Emails and texts are not secure methods to transmit financial information. If you do send financial documents via email, make sure it is password protected.

Do not conduct business over public Wi-Fi: Don’t click on links to get to websites. Instead, search to find the company and directly link to their website from your search.

Use Secure websites for financial information: Confirm that the websites in which you input financial information are secure. Look for the URL to start HTTPS, the “S” stands for secure.

Update your computer: Keep your operating system, browser and security software up-to-date.

If this type of scam does happen to you, know that your bank can initiate the Financial Fraud Kill Chain (FFKC) if it meets these criteria: 1) the wire transfer occurred within the last 72 hours, 2) is international, 3) the amount is $50,000 or more and 4) a SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication) recall notice has been initiated.

This FBI program is designed to recover funds for customers who have been victimized by fraudulent international wire schemes. Any wire transfers that occur outside of these thresholds should still be reported to law enforcement.

Wanda Norge, Mortgage Consultant, Certified Divorce Lending Professional, Equilane Lending, LLC (NMLS: 387869), 20-year Evergreen resident, lending for 14 years. Phone: 303-419-6568, loans@wandanorge.com, www.wandanorge.com. NMLS:280102, MB:100018754

What is Functional Medicine?

By Yamila Cruz

The Functional Medicine model is an individualized, patient-centered, science-based approach that empowers patients and doctors to work together as a team to address the underlying causes of a disease and promote optimal wellness. It relies on a detailed understanding of each patient’s genetic, biochemical, and lifestyle factors and leverages that data to direct personalized treatment plans that lead to improved patient outcomes.

The doctor performs a consultation, detailed patient history, examination and laboratory testing like blood, saliva, stool among others if necessary, and according to the results an individualized program will be made for the patient. Nowadays it has become more popular thanks to different practitioners like Mark Hyman, M.D., Amy Myers, M.D., Jack Wolfson, D.O., and Tom O’Bryan, D.C., among others that have made emphasis on the importance of looking the body as a whole and looking for the root cause of the problem.

In Functional Medicine we look for the culprit of the disease, not only to the symptoms. By addressing root cause, rather than symptoms, practitioners become oriented to identifying the complexity of disease. They may find one condition has many different causes and/or one cause may result in many different conditions. Functional Medicine treatments target the specific reflection of the disease in each individual.

It deals with primary prevention and underlying causes instead of symptoms for serious chronic diseases, including, but not limited to endocrine disorders (Diabetes, thyroid), autoimmune disorders (like Hashimotos), hormonal imbalances (infertility, PCOS) and inflammatory disorders. Functional Medicine integrates traditional Western medical practices with what is sometimes call “alternative” or “holistic” medicine, creating a focus on prevention through nutrition, diet, and exercise; use of the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques; and prescribed combinations of botanical medicines, supplements, therapeutic diets, detoxification programs, or stress-management techniques.

Take control of your health in a natural non invasive way. Prevent future damage, live a longer and healthier life. Stop living in pain, with health issues progressing overtime no matter how many medications and diets you go through. Look for the root cause of your health problems, address them and enjoy the life you deserve.

Some facts:

• Chronic diseases account for 86 percent of all healthcare costs

• 50 percent of adults have at least one chronic condition

• one in every three kids are overweight. Obesity is linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, asthma and high blood pressure, among others

• People with diabetes have a 50 percent higher risk of earlier death, and the medical costs of people with Type 2 diabetes are twice as high as people without

• 24 million people are affected by an autoimmune disease

• The No. 1 cause of death in the United States is heart disease, the second is cancer

• Malnutrition (lack of proper nutrition either due to unhealthy diet or not absorbing the nutrients) is a global phenomenon

Yamila Cruz is a Chiropractor (DC), Functional Medicine Practitioner (FMP) and Autoimmune Protocol Coach (AIP Coach) at Aim High Chiropractic, Sloan's Lake office, 2532 Sheridan Blvd. Contact her at 303-458-0294 or dr.ycruzmtz@gmail.com.