Do you know how to
Avoid Wire Fraud?

Wire Fraud seems to be happening more and more in real estate transactions and it is not always easy to spot.  Often someone involved in a real estate transaction gets an e-mail with a change to the wiring instructions.  Sometimes the buyer will get an e-mail that looks like it is coming from the Lender, Title Company, or even their Real Estate Agent saying where to wire the funds for closing.  A title company could get a request that looks like it is coming from the seller saying they want the proceeds from closing wired into a different account.  There are too many scenarios to list.  There are some common things to look for to avoid wire fraud. 

Spelling & Grammar
A lot of spelling and grammar mistakes.  They are often lacking punctuation and capitalization.

Logos & Company Names
Scammers e-mails are often missing logos or the Company Name.  Sometimes the logo and signature is copied from a legitimate e-mail but then the phone number might be changed. 

E-Mail Links
Often the e-mail looks just like the e-mail of someone involved in the transaction.  If you hover over the e-mail link before clicking on it, the e-mail may be different.  Even if it does look the same, avoid using the links in an e-mail.  They could lead to a phishing site that looks identical to the site you expect.

Password Changes
Lately there have been a lot of phishing e-mails arriving that look like they are from Outlook, saying you need to change your password.  When you click on it, it appears identical to the Outlook log-in but once you enter your password, the scammer has it and can access your e-mail. 

The bottom line is...
you can't be too careful when you are trying to avoid wire fraud. 
Always double check before giving out personal information or wiring any funds. 
Pick up the phone and call your agent or lender or both! 
Better safe than sorry!