BEWARE - Wire Fraud in Real Estate

Jennie Wetter March 20, 2024
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As all types of technology and AI become more sophisticated, sadly, so does the world of cyber crime and fraud. You may have heard about cyber criminals targeting real estate transactions, but you don't think it can happen to you. Well... it CAN!
A couple of weeks ago a dear friend of mine was waiting patiently for the proceeds from her sale to arrive in her bank account. When they didn't arrive, she called the Closing Agent and was told, "Well we sent them 3 days ago". As panic ensued on all sides, an investigation revealed they were victims of wire fraud. Somehow fraudsters got in contact with the Closing office impersonating my friend = they had her caller ID AND her email - and convinced the Closers to amend the wire instructions. ALL of her proceeds were gone!! The FBI is just one of the organizations involved at this point. What a horrible nightmare.
THIS IS PREVENTABLE!! Sellers, the ONLY time you should give instructions as to routing of your proceeds is IN PERSON, when you are signing your Closing documents with the Closer. Buyers, Closing Agents will ask you to set up an account in their secure portal shortly after going under contract. ONLY through this secure portal will they be able to provide wire instructions to you to wire your earnest money. Do not trust anything but the secure portal. If you need help, call me. I work with the same Closing officers all the time who are diligent and ensure your funds are protected. I know their systems and I can help make sure you're only talking to the right people. Remain hyper vigilant and cautious!

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