Whether you are a first time home buyer or an experienced Real Estate investor, no one is exempt from becoming the next victim of real estate wire transfer fraud.
Real estate has become a prime target for cyber attackers. The crafty use of automated hacking software supplies cybercriminals with email lists. Potential victims are then targeted with phishing emails in an attempt to fraudulently attain email account passwords.
Once they have access to a victim’s account, criminals begin monitoring the activity of real estate transactions. When the time is right, the hacker sends an email to the buyer with “new” wire transfer instructions. It is difficult to suspect that this email is anything but authentic, as the hackers can generate it from a legitimate account recognized by the victim.
Scammers find their “target audience” to be easy prey, as their victims are often distracted and preoccupied with the transaction process.
Simply being aware of this risk establishes a platform of protection. However, here are some additional steps you can take for protection:
Steps to Protect Yourself Against Real Estate Wire Transfer Fraud:
- Be aware of how wire transfer instructions are sent. Verify that all email addresses, phone numbers, etc. match the information in your records.
- Call to verify the wire transfer instructions with either the title company or the closing agent.
- Be prudent about any changes made to wire transfer instructions, email addresses, phone numbers, or emails requiring immediate action from you.
- Establish several checkpoints to ensure that all instructions are legitimate.
- Initiate a test wire transfer for a minimum amount. Confirm receipt of the wire transfer with the intended recipient.
For more information regarding the best protection against real estate closing wire transfer fraud, contact the Law Offices of Leo White at (610)579-9141.