Do you want to protect yourself from Real Estate wire fraud but don’t know where to begin?
Carl Johnson Real Estate can help.
Real Estate wire fraud is not a new phenomena, but instances have increased immensely in the past few years. The FBI reports that since 2015, there has been a 1,100% increase in the number of reports and a 2,200% increase in money lost from these types of scams.
This kind of wire fraud occurs when criminals hack into their emails and impersonate Real Estate professionals, then send the buyer instructions on how to make their closing wire transfer to a false account. These criminals target individuals making wire transfers during the home buying process and since these transactions involve multiple parties, the criminal has many vulnerable agents of whom they can take advantage.
Homebuyers are easily tricked into sending their money to the wrong recipient because everything about the fraudulent email could look real, including the names of the agents involved. In fact, 52% of homebuyers have no knowledge of Real Estate wire fraud (Closing Lock), which is why it is so important to stay informed and protect yourself or your client.
If you are a homebuyer trying to protect yourself against wire fraud, here are some things to keep in mind:
✔️Always confirm any emails regarding transferring money with your agent. One phone call could save your money.
✔️Be suspicious. It is uncommon for payment or wiring information to be changed by email.
✔️Confirm the name on the account with your bank before sending any money.
✔️Immediately after wiring, call and confirm that the money was received. You have a better chance at recovering your money the sooner it is discovered that it was sent to the wrong account.
✔️Use a VPN or personal hotspot instead of a public wireless connection to protect your information.
Tips for agents looking to protect their clients:
✔️Educate your clients about the threat of wire fraud.
✔️Tell your clients to call and confirm all wire instructions with you.
✔️Establish a rapid response plan for wire fraud incidents.
Carl Johnson Real Estate, always looking out for your best interests.
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