When purchasing a home there can be a lot of funds being transferred from one party to the other via wire transfers. For those who haven’t purchased a home as early as three days after a purchase agreement enters into Escrow, The Escrow company will then reach out to the buyer requesting the “Good Faith Deposit” (3% of the purchase price). In California, especially Los Angeles, this could mean several thousands of dollars. As Reatlors®, it is our privilege to help you through each step of the Escrow process, including making you aware of a growing trend in money transfers: wire fraud.
As scammers become more savvy, wire fraud occurrences have escalated. According to the FBI, Americans lost nearly $150 million to real estate scams just last year. Scams in the industry have jumped more than 1,000% since 2015, and real estate is now one of the top victims of malware attacks in the country. (Source: Forbes.com)
Scammers have gotten so good at their job through data breaches that they are able to duplicate a bank’s email address requesting a wire fraud. How do you protect yourself?
- First and foremost: Call your mortgage lender/bank and Realtor® to confirm the wire transfer instructions are legitimate
- If you aren’t sure if an email is legitimate, do not click on any links or attachments
- Never provide account numbers, Social Security numbers or any personal information, if requested via an email
Find out here more ways you can protect yourself from wire transfer fraud.