Wire Fraud: A Serious Concern in the Real Estate Industry

Filed under: Borrower Tips

Today’s topic is a little disheartening, but it is an important subject that needs to be addressed: wire fraud. Home buyers are wiring thousands of dollars and can be easy targets for fraudsters. So, today’s tips are focused on steps that can be taken to protect you and your clients.

How Does Wire Fraud Happen?

It’s kind of scary to see how easy wire fraud can happen. At the least sophisticated level, thieves can find people who are looking to buy a house by searching on social media. It’s not hard to identify these targets because people are often vocal about their home search or real estate listing. Once a target is identified, the scammer looks for ways to infiltrate the transaction.

To make matters worse, some scammers use more deceptive techniques with phishing scams to get the banking information. Technology has made it easier than ever for thieves to get their fingers on your personal information. If someone figures out that you are getting ready to buy a home, they will find your email and send an official-looking message with wiring instructions.

Protecting Yourself from Wire Fraud

Just because wire fraud is a serious concern, doesn’t mean that you need to fall victim to the scam. When you are buying a house, wire transfers will be requested for escrow and payments. Before you follow the instructions, it is essential that you verify the information. Talk to your point of contact with the company to ensure that the transfer instructions came from the right source.

Make sure that you know the names of your title and escrow companies. Check and double check the information. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone to have a conversation before the transfer goes through. Find the contact number on the official website instead of looking for a contact phone number in the email that you receive.

People wire money for many reasons, and fraud can occur in other transactions as well. But, in the real estate industry, it is life-changing money that is sent. Once the money is wired, there is a slim chance that you will be able to get the money back.

You can never be too careful about the financial transactions when you are buying a home. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at Franklin Loan Center. If you know someone who is preparing to buy a home, make sure that you share, like, and comment on this post to protect your friends and family from wire fraud.

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Licensed by the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act, 4131316
For questions or concerns please email info@franklinlc.com