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Wire Fraud In Real Estate FBI Warning
The attached report was posted by the FBI, as a Public Service Announcement, regarding the current and continuing wire fraud scam that has affected title companies throughout the country, as well as many other financial institutions, businesses and individuals. This scam has been going on for quite some time and the perpetrators are becoming more and more bold and go so far as to call our offices to perpetuate the scam by requesting an urgent and immediate change in wire instructions, bank account information, etc.
What are the latest tactics?
Fraudsters create emails that appear to be from an escrow officer—known as “spoofing”—and ask your clients to re-route funds needed to close their transaction. And, because they know responsible settlement professionals have begun using call-back procedures to validate and verify emails regarding wiring of funds, thieves also may try calling your clients using prepaid “burner” phones and applications that can spoof the caller ID of any phone number the caller chooses—even valid phone numbers of actual businesses.
How do they get the information?
The fraudsters hack and monitor non-secure communications between agents, buyers and sellers to gather information about the transaction. They then copy an email template and pose as the escrow officer in a message to clients. They may even add publically available information about the “sender’s” personal identity that can be found on flyers, company web pages and social media to help make the message appear legitimate to the unsuspecting recipient, who then acts accordingly not realizing that their response is being routed to a hacker who is trying to steal their funds.
What can you do to help prevent this fraud?
As the article states, it is a 5 billion dollar scam and the figures are increasing daily. Wire fraud is very real. We are passing on this information to you, our clients, so you are aware of this scam. American Title’s policies and procedures have changed regarding wire instructions, and how they are to be received and sent.Please read the attachment to familiarize yourself on what to do if you become a victim of these internet crimes. In addition, please be mindful of how you remit wire information to the title company. Please be very diligent and make sure that you communicate directly with the title company and get wire information directly from the title officer.
Get the Report by clicking the image below
Hope this helps you and if you need anything please let me know!
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