You hear it all the time, we currently live in a world where cyber threats and data breaches happen continuously, as businesses and government agencies scramble to increase security, criminals scramble to stay a step ahead, but even the most intelligent minds cannot predict the next target for criminal activity. So as citizens we must remain vigilant and armed with knowledge, it's up to us to protect ourselves.
Though I do not claim to be any sort of expert, we in the real estate industry are informed from time to time of threats to watch out for.
Here is 1 popular scam happening right now in real estate.
1. Escrow Wire Fraud
This crime is often targeted at unsuspecting home buyers. Imagine all your savings being wiped out in a matter of moments, hours before closing on your dream home. Curious? Let me explain what it is so you can protect yourself from this activity.
In these situations, the victim will receive an email, phone call or maybe even a text with instructions on where to deliver the escrow funds from someone purportedly from the Settlement/Title company. The criminals will use *spoofing techniques such as similar email addresses phone numbers or websites that are off by a character to trick the victim into believing the instructions are authentic. In reality, the money is being transferred to an offshore account with very little if any chance of recovery.
How to avoid this scam - Never ever click on any links emails or send a wire to a third party without first verifying the wiring instructions are correct with a live person at the Settlement Company or Lender. If you are unsure of who to contact or how to contact your Lender or Settlement Agent, contact your Real Estate Agent immediately and they will get you that information.
*to hoax or trick
If you didn't know, now you do. Happy House Hunting.