Protect Yourself from
What is wire fraud?
Wire fraud happens when criminals pose as someone involved in a real estate closing. The criminal usually sends a very realistic looking email to a home buyer or other mortgage applicant. The email provides instructions for how to send money for the home purchase deposit. The unsuspecting home buyer sends thousands of dollars, only to find out later that the email was a scam.
How can you protect your self from wire fraud?
According to the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud, there are several things you can do to prevent wire fraud:
- Call don’t email: Confirm your wiring instructions by phone using a known number before transferring funds. Don’t use phone numbers or links from an email.
- Be suspicious: It’s uncommon for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info by email.
- Forward, don’t reply: When responding to an email, hit forward instead of reply and then start typing in the person’s email address. Criminals use email address that are very similar to the real one for a company. By typing in email addresses, you will make it easier to discover if a fraudster is after you.
Protect Your Money
- Confirm everything: Ask your bank to confirm the name on the account before sending a wire.
- Verify immediately: Call the title company or real estate agent to validate that the funds were received. The sooner it is detected that money has been sent to a wrong account, the better chance you have of recovering the money.