Never wire funds without first calling the known phone number for broker or escrow and confirming the wire instructions. Do not rely upon e-mail communications.
Internet Fraud is real and it is on the rise. Hackers will assume the identity of the real estate agent, closing attorney, the title company and send and email to the buyer and provide a new wire instruction to the criminal's bank account.
Every day, hackers try to steal your money by emailing fake wire instructions. Criminals will use a similar-looking (but fake) email address and steal a logo and other info to make it look like the email came from your real estate agent or title company. You can protect yourself & your money by following these steps:
1. IMPORTANT: Call, don’t click: Verify all wiring instructions before transferring your funds. Call the title company using an independently obtained and known phone number. Don’t use phone numbers or links from an email. Be aware: It’s extremely rare that wiring instructions will change at the last minute, or that this information will be provided by email.
2. PROTECT: Confirm everything: Ask your bank to confirm the name on the receiving account before sending a wire. Verify Immediately: Within four to eight hours, call the title company or real estate agent to confirm they received your money
3. IF YOU’VE BEEN TARGETED: Call your bank and ask them to issue a recall notice for your wire. File a complaint with the FBI at www.lC3.gov. Report the crime to your local FBI office. Making a report within the first 24 hours provides the best chance of recovering your money.