I received an e-mail yesterday from the California Real Estate Legal Alliance. They're the attorneys who worked with the Errors and Omission Insurance company endorsed by the California Association of Realtors® last year. The e-mail says:
"It has recently come to our attention that some unsuspecting buyers and sellers are receiving emails from third parties indicating that the wiring instructions for depositing funds into escrow or for disbursing sellers funds out of escrow have been revised. Somewhere along the line, these criminals are hacking into the emails of escrows, buyer or sellers and are discovering the existence of the escrow. They then send out a very official looking email which appears to come directly from the escrow company indicating that the wiring instructions have been revised. The email gives the buyer or seller new wiring instructions which have the funds wired to some third party who then steals these funds. Some buyers and sellers have lost very large sums of money to this scam."
It's probably a good idea to remind clients to follow the wiring instructions provided in the Preliminary Report, and not wiring instructions e-mailed to them.
Cal BRE 00572654
Silicon Valley Realtor since 1976
19200 Shubert Drive
Saratoga, CA 95070