Wire Fraud – You Can’t Be Too Careful

By: Beth Ferester & Company | Published 05/31/2019

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There have been so many advances in technology in all the years I have been working in real estate, and most of them have changed the industry for the better. But in recent years, one rather sinister cyber-activity has begun to plague realtors and their brokers – wire fraud. Every day, more and more people are receiving phishing emails with the sole purpose of trying to glean personal financial information. Unfortunately, real estate transactions are a perfect target for cyber criminals looking to commit wire fraud. They need only to hack an agent’s email to find pertinent information on potential closings at which funds will be required to be wired to a title company. Once they succeed in gathering the information they need, they clone the email address of either the real estate agent or title officer, then send false information to clients with fake wiring instructions, directing the client to transfer funds into accounts owned by the criminal. And sadly, their scheme often works. There have been a multitude of such cases where buyers have been coerced to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to fake accounts set up by the hackers. This happens all over the country and has even happened here in The Woodlands. The FBI recently released their report of Cyber Crime in the US for 2018. The total for Real Estate/Rental alone was $149,458,114. There were billions in total of all the different losses to Cyber Crime, with Texas ranking second in a tie with Florida, and both behind California as number one for the most victims.... to continue reading please go to https://ferester.com/wire-fraud-you-cant-be-too-careful/

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