Tips for Preventing Wire Fraud in a Real Estate Transfer

Most all real estate transfer use a wire transfer for the buyer to convey the funds to the seller usually through a title agency. If you let your guard down, you can be fooled by cybercriminals, . However, with the right knowledge and preparation, you can avoid becoming a victim of wire fraud.

Pay Attention to Email Addresses

Cybercriminals use email spoofing to trick victims into believing an email is from a known and trusted source. Always scrutinize the sender’s email address for irregularities. When responding, use the “forward” function instead of “reply” and manually enter a trusted email address to avoid accidentally communicating with a fraudster. Look to ensure a company name is contained within the sender’s email address.

Watch out for Urgent Demands

Cybercriminals often create a sense of urgency to commit wire fraud. Be cautious of urgent requests, especially those occurring on a Friday or just before a holiday.

Secure Your Email

Hackers can obtain information about your real estate transaction by compromising email accounts. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to secure your email and prevent wire fraud. Additionally, employ email encryption to protect sensitive information, ensuring only specified users can read your messages.

Be Cautious of Unexpected or Suspicious Attachments and Links

Exercise caution when opening attachments or clicking links, even if they seem to come from a trusted source. Unexpected or suspicious attachments or links could contain malware, potentially giving cybercriminals access to your personal data or information and making wire fraud easier.

Watch Out for Unusual Grammar and Misspellings

Phishing emails often contain incorrect grammar and misspelled words. Most often this is a sign of a foreign impersonator. Sometimes, these mistakes are intentional and strategic. Always be cautious if you notice such irregularities.

Be Suspicious of Changes in Wiring Instructions

Changes to wiring instructions during a real estate transaction are extremely rare. Always verify any changes with a trusted source before taking action. Remember the wire fraud drill to protect your funds from cybercriminals: STOP, CALL a trusted phone number, and VERIFY!

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