With the amount of money exchanged in a real estate transaction, is it any wonder that would be thieves may be lurking in the corners of the internet waiting to take advantage of an unsuspecting person. That’s exactly what is happening with wire fraud. This crime is a growing concern for agents and their clients and it is really important to be vigilant and cautious when going through a transaction. In this episode we are going to talk about how to do just that!
When large sums of money are transferred at closing, they may be done with a “wire transfer”. This is just the banks way of electronically moving funds through a system of banks and financial institutions. This is done with bank account numbers and routing numbers.
Unscrupulous characters may try to intercept the wire, by impersonating someone associated with the transaction. They may even go as far as creating a fictitious email using a familiar email signature, photo and tag line. To the casual viewer, this could be easy to miss and a tragedy can happen in the blink of an eye.
Something as simple as an email the day of closing that says “wiring instructions have changed. Please have the money sent to this account instead to avoid delays” have caused people to lose their home and their pay off. By the time the change is realized, it’s too late and the money is gone, and sadly there’s not much that can be done to reverse it.
The good news is you have a team of professionals with your agent, attorney and financial institution to help make sure you aren’t a victim of wire fraud. If you ever see an email or message that mentions wiring instructions, verify and clarify in person or on the the phone with a number you know is correct. A simple call or questions could save thousands of dollars and major heartache. Until next time….
Berkshire Hathaway-RW Towne Realty
252 312 2263