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MY REAL ESTATE BLOG

Real Estate Wire Fraud: Tips for a Safe Closing


wire fraud blog graphic with a hacker and a computer

Closing on a new home should be an exciting milestone, but unfortunately, it can also be a target for scammers.


Recently, we had a close call! When the listing agent’s email account was hacked, the sellers were nearly duped into wiring their proceeds to a fraudulent account. Luckily, the sellers double-checked the authenticity of the request, and a potential crisis was averted.

 

However, it’s a stark reminder of the prevalence of real estate wire fraud and the importance of staying vigilant throughout the closing process.

 

Real Estate Fraud is On the Rise

 

Real estate wire fraud is a growing cybercrime in the U.S., and if you're not careful, you could lose your down payment, closing costs, or delay your closing. Scammers often target homebuyers in the final stages of the transaction, posing as legitimate contacts like real estate agents or mortgage lenders.

 

How Can You Protect Yourself?

 

person at a computer initiating wire fraud

To protect yourself from falling victim to mortgage wire fraud, here are some essential steps to take:

 

Understand the Closing Process: Take the time to thoroughly understand the closing process and how you'll be making payments. Speak directly with your real estate agent or lender to clarify payment methods and any security measures in place.

 

Be Careful with Email Communication: Scammers may have the ability to intercept email communication, so it's best to avoid discussing sensitive financial information over email. Instead, opt for in-person or phone conversations when discussing payment details.

 

Set Up Secure Authentication: Consider setting up a secure authentication process with trusted parties involved in the transaction. This could involve creating a unique password or code to verify their identity before making any payments.

 

Stay Vigilant: Be wary of any unexpected or urgent requests to wire funds, especially if they come with last-minute changes to wiring instructions. Take the time to verify the legitimacy of any requests with trusted contacts before acting.

 

What have we learned?

 

By taking these proactive measures, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to real estate wire fraud and ensure a smooth and secure closing process for your new home. Stay informed, stay vigilant, and protect yourself from potential scams.


 

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Content by Remington Crispeno Team Seattle Realtors

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