Avoiding Wire Fraud
Updated: Oct 5, 2022
BE AWARE! Wire fraud is on the rise. Educate yourselves and warn your clients about the severity of wire fraud.
Hackers are gaining access to e-mail accounts through captured passwords, and they’ll search inboxes for messages related to real estate transactions. Once they find a victim who’s in the process of buying a home, they’ll send a spoof email that looks like it’s from their agent, title representative, or attorney, and it will say there are “new” wiring instructions, which includes a fraudulent account. The home buyer will then unknowingly wire funds directly into the hacker’s account.
Ways to protect yourself:
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 information by email.
Protect Your Money
Confirm Everything: Ask your bank to confirm the name on the account before sending a wire.
Verify Quickly: Call the title company 4-8 hours after wiring the money to confirm that they have received it.
What to do if you've been targeted
Immediately: Call your bank and ask them to issue a recall notice for your wire.
Report: Report the crime to www.ic3.gov
Call: Call your regional FBI office and police
Detecting: Detecting that you sent money to the wrong account within the first 24 hours is the best chance of recovering your money
Share this information with clients and fellow agents to avoid wire fraud and to raise awareness of this growing epidemic.