Buying a home is an exciting and rewarding time in our lives. This video created by NINJIO is great at explaining what wire fraud is and will help you avoid any potential road blocks on that journey. Please be aware that criminals are currently hacking into email accounts and using information gathered from those accounts to trick home buyers into a fraudulent wire transfers.
The hackers will send the homebuyer an email that has been spoofed to look like it comes from a trusted source. Whether it be the real estate agent, title representative or an attorney involved in the transaction.
The email is sent right before closing and claims that there has been a last minute change to the wiring instructions. Following these new instructions, the homebuyer will wire funds directly in the hacker’s account – which will be cleared out immediately! Unfortunately the homebuyers’ money could be lost.
So, how do you avoid falling victim to this criminal attack “Wire Fraud”?
Talk to your real estate agent.
- Talk to your real estate agent at the beginning of the process and how the money wiring transfer is handled.
Prior to sending funds call the intended recipient
- Immediately before making any wire transfers, call the intended recipient to verify the instructions.
Verified phone number
- Call the intended recipient with a verified phone number that you know is correct. Never trust a telephone number in an email that contains wiring instructions. Hackers can create a legitimate looking signature box with their own contact information.
Never send financial information via email
- Never send any of your financial information over email or to an unknown website. It is NOT secure!
Use a REALTOR®
- The home buying process involves a number of important steps. Using a Realtor® means you are using an agent that is a member of the National Association of Realtors® and has access to the latest news and information (like the one you are reading here) that could affect your real estate transaction.
Wire fraud is real and can cause damaging road blocks preventing you from closing on your dream home. Being a well informed buyer and using a real estate agent that is current with today’s market and issues affecting real estate in your local market will help make your transaction a smooth one.
About Seth Muenzer’s Real Estate Blog: The above article “What is Wire Fraud and how to avoid it!” is hosted by the Seth Muenzer, the owner of www.sethmuenzer.com. a leader in the field of Real Estate sales, marketing, and social media marketing. If you’re thinking of selling or buying, I would love to share my knowledge and expertise. For tips, tricks and how to save money when buying real estate please visit my other blog articles. If you have real estate question feel free to ask anytime and thank you for visiting my blog.