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Wire Fraud: What you need to know prior to Application for Mortgage

Reblogger Sharon Parisi
Real Estate Agent with United Real Estate Dallas TREC# 0544069

Take time to read this well written and educational article about wire fraud, by Gene Mundt, an extraordinary loan originator in the Chicago area.   He shares mind boggling statistics about the sharp increase of wire fraud and provides readers with valuable tips to avoid falling prey to scammers.  Many of his tips can also be applied to safe use of cell phones and computers.

Wire Fraud:  
What you need to know prior to Application for Mortgage  
An increased focus is being given to the topic of wire fraud these days ...  

Rightfully so, as the number of stories of attempted and successful wire fraud and scams is on the rise.  On ActiveRain, a social media and blogging community of real estate-related professionals I belong to, there have been multiple blogs written and discussions held on this timely topic. 

It's good that ActiveRain members (and others) are shedding light on this matter.  The sharing of information and warnings, amongst professionals and the public, serves to educate and alert as to the dangers of the scams ... and how to avoid them.

The education and attention are gravely needed.  Consider the following staggering statistics I discovered while gathering info for this article:

  • The FBI reported that during 2015 over $179 million had been stolen in fraudulent attacks over a 14-month period of time in the U.S.
  • The Hill recently featured an article showcasing a recent FBI report stating that wire fraud at title companies grew 480% during the year of 2016 
  • According to an FS-ISAC survey, the preferred money movement method of choice with 76% of fraud attempts was wire transfers  

Perpetrators of this type of fraud often utilize emails to deceive email recipients ...  

Fraudulent links, accompanied by instructions for wiring of funds or requests for sensitive account information, are often contained within the emails received.  When the links are "clicked" upon, money or account information is re-routed to a scammer.

Borrowers and professionals alike must remain alert and aware of email scams, as emails and email systems can also be "hijacked".  Email scams ... and the instructions, domain names, logos, directions, and names within them ... can appear quite legitimate and professional.  Close careful scrutiny must always be conducted.     
Borrowers (and professionals) should familiarize themselves with ... then enact ... the proactive preventative measures available to them while navigating the processing of their home loan (and afterward):
  • Never send personal information (social security number, birthdates, etc.) over an unprotected email server
  • Use the safe secure encrypted email/system/account provided to you by your lending institution for sharing of personal info (If none is provided, re-think your choice of professional)
  • Make sure all security systems, browsers, software on your personal computer are up to date
  • If you use your cell phone to conduct communications regarding your mortgage processing or banking, take these precautionary measures as well:
  1. Place a lock on your phone. Establish a secure Password
  2. Routinely perform updates for your cell's operating system
  3. Remove old, unused apps on your phone, as they are highly susceptible to hacking. At minimum, update to the latest version of your app
  4. Do not use public Wi-Fi, especially when accessing banking accounts, credit, etc.
  5. Use/install a Virtual Private Network (VPN), if not already installed on your phone
  6. Delete your browsing history, cache, and cookies regularly
  7. Don't leave your phone unattended ... anywhere!
  • Only communicate with firms and professionals that have secured systems (Clue: Look for URLs that begin with https) or email servers  
  • Be aware of and protect against "Phishing", "Vishing", and "SMishing" attempts
  • Be wary of attachments, downloads, etc. contained within emails.  Only "click" and download those attachments received from protected secure known systems
  • Borrowers need to secure all their accounts. Do NOT use simple passwords or re-use the same passwords on multiple sites/services
  • Use reliable, well-protected title companies for your real estate transaction
  • Prior to wiring funds, call your Mortgage Originator ... or a previously verified number to confirm the directions and accuracy of any info received.  Never proceed until this verification is completed.  
Scammers are sophisticated and smart and growing more so each day.  An awareness of this wire fraud threat and scam is needed and vital to combating it ... by Borrower, Seller, and Professionals involved in any mortgage transaction.

Stay safe and protected by educating yourself thoroughly regarding wire fraud.  Remain vigilant throughout your entire mortgage processing and Closing.

By doing so you avoid making yourself a victim ... and you help shut scammers down ... 
* Hoping to Buy or Refinance a home in the Chicagoland area?  Contact Me!  I'll put my 40 years of Mortgage experience and expertise hard to work on your behalf.
I'm easily found at:

Gene Mundt
Mortgage Originator - NMLS #216987 - IL Lic. #031.0006220 - WI License 216987
American Portfolio Mortgage Corp.
NMLS #175656
Direct: 815.524.2280
Cell or Text: 708.921.6331
eFax: 815.524.2281


 Twitter Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   LinkedIn Account of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Facebook Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   Pinterest Acct. of Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender   

   Gene's Chicagoland Blog/Gene Mundt, Mortgage Lender  



Gene Mundt

 Mortgage Originator  -  NMLS #216987    

                                   IL Lic. #0006220  -  WI License                                                                                                     

NMLS #175656


Gene Mundt, Mortgage Originator,  40+ years of #mortgage experience, will offer you exemplary mortgage service and advice when seeking:  #Conventional, #FHA, #VA, #Jumbo, #USDA, and Portfolio Loans in #Chicago and the greater Chicagoland region, including:  The #Lincoln-Way Area, #Will County, (#New Lenox, #Frankfort, #Mokena, #Manhattan, #Joliet, #Shorewood, #Crest Hill, #Plainfield, #Bolingbrook, #Romeoville, #Naperville, #Wilmington, #Peotone, etc.), #DuPage County, the City of Chicago, #Cook County, and elsewhere within IL and Wisconsin. 


Your Referrals & Testimonials are Always Greatly Appreciated! 


Email Me .. to be added to my Mortgage & Real Estate Newsletter

Posted by

 Sharon Parisi,  Realtor®

Helping Dallas area buyers and sellers meet their real estate needs



United Real Estate

Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Unfortunately the adage "where there is a will there is a way" also applies to fraud ! 

Aug 02, 2017 02:53 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi

That is so true, Sally K. & David L. Hanson ... seems they are one jump ahead way too often.

Really liking the new pic!


Aug 02, 2017 09:04 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Sharon Parisi,

Wow..I missed this post from Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi and its a good one so I'm off to comment on his post. Thank you for re-bogging it!

Aug 02, 2017 04:40 AM
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Wow ... blown away by your very generous and kind introduction to this info and post Sharon Parisi.  Thank you so much!  

I appreciate your re-sharing the info.  Awareness and education are key to combating this scam ...


Aug 02, 2017 09:04 AM
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Sharon Parisi - Thank you for the re-blog by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi. This information is just as important today as it was when written in 2017! Perhaps Gene needs to get the word out again?  

Mar 23, 2019 12:03 AM