Preventing Wire Fraud

By
Real Estate Agent with Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 SA5376460000
https://activerain.com/droplet/5dnz

Wire Fraud is a damaging crime.  Victims of wire fraud can innocently think they are following directions only to learn that wired funds are lost, gone from their bank accounts.  Preventing wire fraud requires vigilance on the part of everyone in a real estate transaction.  

 

Title companies are selected in a real estate contract and subsequently financial dealings and transferring money involves title companies.  Hackers have become adept at gaining information by hacking accounts of those involved in real estate sales.  Real estate agents, title companies, buyers and sellers are targeted as hackers know money will be transferred.  Intercepting that transfer is where due diligence is of the utmost importance.  

 

At one of my recent HomeSmart Elite Group meetings, two real estate attorneys were invited to speak about wire fraud.  They spoke of recent issues, but most importantly the things that we agents can do to inform our clients of this scam so they won't experience this type of fraud.  

 

Here is a short list of their recommendations for our buyer and seller clients who are receiving emails appearing to come from title companies.  Be wary if you receive an email:

 

Explaining you can't reach the escrow officer, just wire the money; 

That don't originate from title companies;

With incorrect email addresses from "title companies;"

Received after 5 pm requesting wire transfer changes;

Using bad grammar and English; and 

Using Swift codes (not a US code)

 

If you receive an email from a title company, call your agent and title company and ask for clarification.  They will advise if the email is legitimate.  Do not call the number in the email as that could be the hacker's phone number. 

 

Emails should never ask for personal, financial information.   

For more resources visit:

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (scams and safety)

The Internet Crime Complaint Center

The National White Collar Crime Center

On Guard Online 

 

And if you're experienced wire fraud, notify your bank immediately.  

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HomeSmart Elite Group                                  

8388 E Hartford Dr., Suite 100

Scottsdale, AZ 85255                                                         

(602) 620-2699   DIRECT

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Topic:
Real Estate Best Practices
Location:
Arizona Maricopa County
Groups:
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Bananatude
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Hyper-Local
Tags:
home buying
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real estate fraud
wire fraud
illegal wire transfers
wiring money in a real estate transaction

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Rainmaker
3,985,335
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Before we wire anything we double check and trip;e check to make sure we are all on the same page

Jul 19, 2018 12:54 PM #1
Ambassador
2,417,571
Fred Griffin Tallahassee Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

       The Title Attorney that I prefer has a stern warning at the top of every email they send out:

   Please note we will not provide nor receive wiring instructions via email.

Jul 19, 2018 01:13 PM #2
Rainmaker
1,027,150
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Our brokerage has a disclosure clients must now sign with this information and warnings, some of which is in bold red letters.  It cannot be emphasized enough.  Great post!

Jul 19, 2018 01:30 PM #3
Rainmaker
2,683,673
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

This is important information, Jan! Wire fraud is becoming an increasing problem, and we are becoming more and more aware of issues that can come of it when folks aren't especially cautious!  

Jul 19, 2018 01:38 PM #4
Ambassador
2,957,014
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Jan really good information on wire fraud. I received a notice from one of our title agents that somebody has been changing their .com to .net and to be aware of it. WATCH those email addresses and webite name or domain changes. Like you said - if in doubt call the title company.

Jul 19, 2018 02:34 PM #5
Rainmaker
2,148,306
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Jan Green the attorneys gave you and agents in your area good advice. It's unfortunate that crimes like this exist. We do need to remain vigilant and pay attention to ways in which we can prevent it from happening in the first place.

Jul 19, 2018 07:04 PM #6
Rainmaker
1,436,171
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

This has become a big problem since I retired, Jan.  Glad I didn't have to deal with it.  It's a scary world out there.

Jul 20, 2018 01:11 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you William Feela .  It's mind-numbing to think of how much money has been stolen by fraudulent wire transfers.

Jul 24, 2018 07:31 PM #8
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

That's smart business Fred Griffin !  I see this language everywhere these days!

Jul 24, 2018 07:32 PM #9
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Good for you and your business for being responsible with a required form Susan Haughton . 

Jul 24, 2018 07:33 PM #10
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

All it takes is a misstep and thousands are at risk Myrl Jeffcoat 

Jul 24, 2018 07:34 PM #11
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

It's just crazy how they get away with just one different character or  a .net Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886 !  I was standing in front of a broker who received a message that one his agents' transactions had been hit.  $$ gone!

Jul 24, 2018 07:36 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

So true Patricia Feager !  So sad that this is rampant.  The swift code was a new one for me.  Once money leaves the country - it's gone!

Jul 24, 2018 07:37 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,000,158
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You are right Carol Williams ! A scarey world and also very sad that another layer of fraud is in the mix!

Jul 24, 2018 07:37 PM #14
Rainmaker
2,826,502
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

it really is so vital to protect yourself and all of information you hold close to the vest! I can’t emphasize this enough. :)

Jul 29, 2018 08:43 PM #15
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Rainmaker
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Jan Green

HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN
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