Home buyers & sellers are at risk of being targeted by criminals, who hack email accounts (title/escrow officers, mortgage brokers, real estate agents, lawyers, etc) in order to trick you into wiring money to fraudulent bank accounts. These hackers make themselves appear authentic by including personal details they have obtained by hacking into their targets’ email accounts.
Here’s What You Need to Know:
WE WILL NEVER EMAIL YOU WIRING INSTRUCTIONS, ASK YOU TO CHANGE WIRE INSTRUCTIONS, OR ASK FOR YOUR BANK ACCOUNT INFORMATION VIA EMAIL. If you receive an email or call allegedly from us which provides wiring instructions, it is fraudulent. Do not respond to it and please call Lexi or Briette immediately.
Here’s What You Need to Do:
Phone Verification – Verify all sensitive requests over the phone or in person, and never by email, even if they appear to come from someone known to you. Call us using a known phone number. Don’t use phone numbers or links from an email.
Ask Questions – Ask specific questions of the other party that only they would know like what is their manager’s name or the last time you met them in person. After you wire money, call the title company within 4 to 8 hours to confirm they received it at the right account.
Treat New Requests Seriously – Treat any requests to change existing wiring instructions with extreme suspicion. Hover your mouse over email addresses to ensure the sender name and email address matches the hyperlinked address, and that all email addresses (including the @[ABC].com domain name) are exact. Check for poor grammar and punctuation in the body of the email. These are all signs of a potentially fraudulent email.
What to Do If You Are Targeted:
Call Your Bank – Ask them to issue a recall notice for your wire. Call within 24 hours for the best chance of recovering your money.
Report It – Report the crime to www.ic3.gov as well as your local police and regional FBI office (https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices). IF YOU ALREADY WIRED FUNDS TO A FRAUDULENT ACCOUNT, TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. GET THE FBI AND BANKS INVOLVED IMMEDIATELY.