Wire Fraud Alert
This Information is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. If you have any questions, please consult with a lawyer.
All parties to a real estate transaction are targets for wire fraud and many have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars because they simply relied on the wire instructions received via email, without further verification. If funds are to be wired in conjunction with this real estate transaction, we strongly recommend verbal verification of wire instructions through a known, trusted phone number prior to sending funds. In addition, the following non-exclusive self-protection strategies are recommended to minimize exposure to possible wire fraud.
NEVER RELY on emails purporting to change wire instructions. Parties to a transaction rarely change wire instructions in the course of a transaction.
ALWAYS VERIFY wire instructions, specifically the ABA routing number and account number, by calling the party who sent the instructions to you. DO NOT use the phone number provided in the email containing the instructions, use phone numbers you have called before or can otherwise verify. Obtain the number of relevant parties to the transaction as soon as an escrow account is opened. DO NOT send an email to verify as the email address may be incorrect or the email may be intercepted by the fraudster.
USE COMPLEX EMAIL PASSWORDS that employ a combination of mixed case, numbers, and symbols. Make your passwords greater than eight (8) characters. Also, change your password often and do NOT reuse the same password for other online accounts.
USE MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION for email accounts. Your email provider or IT staff may have specific instructions on how to implement this feature. For more information on wire-fraud scams or to report an incident, please refer to the following links: Federal Bureau of Investigation: Internet Crime Complaint Center: