Real Estate Wire Fraud is Rampant in Alexandria and Northern Virginia

Real Estate Agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - ABR - SRES

Real estate wire fraud is rampant in Alexandria and Northern Virginia according to Jay Crowder, Sr. VP for PHH Home Loans in the Mid-Atlantic Region.

As unscrupulous computer wizards become more and more adept at "breaking and entering" computer systems, hacking is moving to a whole new level of engagement in the real estate industry.


One recent encounter saw a fraudulent wire request coming directly from the email account of a real estate agent.  The hacker not only sent the wire request from the agent's email account but also sent a copy of the client's HUD-1 form that the mortgage lender had prepared and forwarded to the agent for review.  SCARY!

What can you do - as a buyer/seller/agent?  Be on the lookout for and question:

  • Weird / inconsistent fonts
  • Misspelled words
  • Double click the email address to verify address is correct

The amount and sophistication of this fraud is increasing on a rapid basis. To be completely safe, do not wire any funds without checking with your agent and/or lending institution.

Finally, take wire fraud very seriously and report any suspicious activity immediately.  Not only does this activity hurt the individuals involved but it hurts the entire industry.

Let's be careful out there.



Posted by

Michael Bergin

Your Realtor in Alexandria and Northern Virginia - ABR - SRES - Military Relocation

Comments (2)

Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Good morning  Michael,,,Fortunate for us,  this has not been much of an issue here..Tks fro sharing.

Nov 20, 2015 02:31 AM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

 Nearly everyday there is news of yet another internet hack or some new internet scam or fraud regarding personal information.  Unfortunately, we are also hearing about the increase of a crime targeting the real estate industry: Wire Transfer Fraud. Criminals have been able to gain access to email accounts, personal information, and bank routing numbers and then misdirect buyer's and seller's funds to the criminal's accounts.


The criminals take advantage of unguarded communications and weak passwords and security measures to set up legitimate looking wiring instructions; some even containing legitimate appearing telephone numbers to confirm these fraudulent wiring instructions. 

Jun 09, 2016 06:32 AM