Imagine saving for years to buy a home.
After a long search, you find the perfect property, make an offer and it’s accepted. As closing day draws near, you receive an urgent email from someone who purports to be your closing agent/attorney. You open an attachment to see the address of the home, the name of your title insurance company, the exact dollar amount due from you at closing and detailed wire instructions – all signed by the individual on company letterhead. So, you have your bank wire the funds due to the account listed in the wire instructions. When the day of closing arrives, it becomes apparent you fell victim to a fraudster who had you wire the money to an illegitimate account.
It’s easy to be fooled by cybercriminals if you let your guard down, but with knowledge and preparation, you can avoid becoming a victim.
Tips for Preventing Wire Fraud
- Secure your devices and accounts. Securing your computer, phone and mobile devices, and practicing good email and password hygiene can make you less vulnerable to any cybercrime.
- Slow down. Fraudsters work hard to lull buyers into a false sense of security, so they don’t take the time to scrutinize requests. Always check the sender’s email address for irregularities.
- Be suspicious of any changes to wiring instructions, especially on Fridays or before holidays. Changes to wiring instructions are rare and should only come from your closing agent. Since it takes 72 hours to wire money, fraudsters often request wire changes on a Friday or just before a holiday, so the funds are gone by the time anyone notices.
For title and escrow questions contact our team at (402)721-5833.