Watching Out for Wire Fraud

This holiday season, it’s important that we all stay alert to the prevalence of wire fraud. For the past several years, wire fraud in real estate transactions has been one of the fastest growing cybercrimes. As we approach long weekends to celebrate the holidays, it is important we keep an eye out for fraudulent activities. Below are some ways you may be able to recognize an attempt at wire fraud:

  • Attempts to change wiring instructions
  • Emails trying to divert funds prior to closing
  • Phishing emails asking you to change passwords or login credentials
  • Bad grammar and spelling errors
  • Emails that highly stress urgency
  • Emails that emulate or falsify your company’s footers or logos

If you happen to come across any of these various signs of fraud, there are several things you can do to protect yourself, your clients, and the transaction at hand. The following are our Centric Title experts’ recommendations:

  • Do not open suspicious emails. If you do happen to open an email that looks suspicious, do not click on any links, open any attachments, or reply to the email.
  • Locate a phone number for your lender through an independent source.
    • Always double-check and verify the phone number provided in the email against a known number for the intended recipient of the wire.
  • Call the lender at the vetted phone number to confirm whether the wire information on the questionable demand is genuinely correct.
  • If you can’t quickly get a live representative with the lender, try and find a demand from that same lender in an older file (6+ months) and compare the two.
  • Use your best common sense and intuition; don’t be afraid to reach out for help. Better safe than sorry!

By following these tips, you should be able to keep your transactions safe. Remember that cybersecurity is of the utmost importance to us — stay vigilant and don’t rush your transactions. If you have any further questions or concerns, please contact us; your Centric Title team is always here to help!

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