WIRING FRAUD, WHAT TO WATCH FOR
November 8, 2017 | Richard Sites
Never Trust Wiring Instructions
In the old days, funds to close were conveyed using Cashier’s Checks. But these became victims of fraud so no closing agent will accept them anymore.
All funds must be wired to the closing agent.
Now, wiring itself is secure since it is directly between institutions. What is open to fraud are the wiring instructions issued to buyers allegedly from the closing agent, title company, lawyer or real estate agent.
Here’s how it works.
Closing agent or real estate agent has their email account hacked. Criminals comb through the emails until they find an on-going transaction that has yet to close.
When it is time to send wiring instructions to the buyer, the criminals substitute their account number for the real number. These emails are convincing and sophisticated.
The Take Away
Never trust an email, period.
If you are wiring money anywhere in a real estate transaction, verify all wiring instructions verbally.
I know of title companies, agents, brokers and lawyers who have all been victims of hacking.
If you would like to discuss your real estate goals and how to meet them, contact me using the form below.