Buying a home is a big purchase. In fact, it’s the biggest purchase many people will ever make. That’s why you want to make sure you have the right people on your side, and you know what steps to take. This includes knowing what risks could arise as well.
Realtors, Real Estate Brokers, Buyers, and Sellers have recently been targeted during this process. The amount of money being exchanged is large enough that it’s a target for people who want to take it. Many people have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to wire fraud – but that won’t be you!
With wire fraud, hackers may break into an email account to obtain information on upcoming real estate transactions. Using this information, they can figure out who you are, what you’re purchasing, and where you are in the process. They will sometimes monitor the account to swoop in at the perfect timing of a closing.
Once they get their timing down right, they’ll send an email posing as either the Realtor, licensee, or escrow agent. By doing this, it can trick you into thinking they’re someone you know, when they’re actually not. In this email, they’ll give you wiring instructions with specifics, guiding you on how to wire the funds.
We wanted to bring this topic to your attention because so many people have been hurt by this! We have a strict code of ethics and our brokerage along with the McClain group put our clients above all else, so we are doing everything we can for this to stop. If you’re in a real estate transaction and receive information about wiring funds over email, we urge you not to respond! Immediately call your Realtor or escrow agent to speak with them directly. We will disclose the information directly to you on what you should do and how to do it.
The information we disclose via email is meant to be private, however no one can guarantee that it is or always will be. It’s better to be safe than sorry and when you get an important email like that, you want to make sure to check on it with someone face to face or over the phone. When escrow starts, make sure you get a phone number of your agent to have on hand.
Lastly, always trust your agent! Speak with them about wiring instructions before wiring any amount of money. Your agent will direct you on how to properly and securely finish the closing on your new home, so you can enjoy your new place in peace!