Real Estate Wire Fraud Activity
by Russ Blahetka on Sep 18, 2017
If the Equifax issue was not enough, there is a new game in town. We have just been made aware of a new wire-related fraud activity targeting those involved in real estate transactions.
Fraudsters are compromising email accounts of title companies and mortgage brokers in an effort to gain access to interactions they are having with individuals about their real estate transactions. As they intercept emails about these transactions, the fraudsters have the information needed to then email the potential victims stating that a wire is required to complete the 'legitimate' transaction. However, if the individual sends the wire, the funds are actually sent to the fraudsters account and often result in a total loss to the victim.
To help you proactively avoid fraudulent account activity such as this, we suggest the following:
- Prior to engaging in any cash transaction call your title company or mortgage broker to confirm important details (wire instructions, timing of transaction, etc.).
- Email should never be considered entirely secure. If you are going to discuss important financial matters through email always verify the specifics via phone call or in person prior to completing the transaction with the appropriate title company or mortgage broker.
- NEVER send confidential information such as account numbers, social security numbers, drivers license information, etc. through email.
If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your title company, loan officer, real estate agent, or your financial advisor.