Archive for the ‘Real Estate Scams’ Category

Beware of the Latest Real Estate Wire Fraud Scams!

Thursday, March 15th, 2018
Wire fraud scams

The latest real estate wire fraud scams can be prevented with encrypted email software and awareness. Be prepared and stay safe!

Beware! Individuals and law firms are falling victim to real estate wire fraud scams! Con artists today are sophisticated and tech-savvy. And we should all be “on our toes” about their latest ploys to scam us out of our livelihoods. Recently, buyers, sellers, real estate agents, and closing attorneys, who are involved in real estate closings, have been the targets of wire fraud scams. Victims are going bankrupt and law firms and real estate companies are going out of business because of this latest scam.

How are Con Artists Working Real Estate Wire Fraud Scams?

How do criminals attempt real estate wire fraud scams? They hack into the email accounts of those involved in a real estate transaction. Then, they gain unauthorized access to third-party email accounts due to the lack of use of email encryption software. And it takes only one person involved in the real estate transaction to be without this software for con artists to engage in wire fraud scams.

Here’s a scenario to help explain how it works.

The closing details are emailed to the buyer, buyer’s real estate agent, seller’s real estate agent, buyer’s attorney, and the seller’s attorney. And the particulars of the closing include sensitive information: wiring information, closing figures, names, contact information. If only one of the people involved in this real estate transaction fails to use encryption software to protect the email chain, a con artist can intercept the email chain and gain access to everything they need to engage in wire fraud scam. And it’s not hard for them to do this because this kind of computer software is readily available.

Variations of Wire Fraud Scams

There are two variations of wire fraud scams which are most common.

  1. A criminal intercepts the emails then sends a bogus email to the buyer posing as the closing attorney. The criminal, aka bogus closing attorney, requests that the buyer wire their purchase funds to the scammer’s bank account.
  2. A criminal intercepts the emails then sends a bogus email to the closing attorney posing as the seller. The criminal, aka bogus seller, requests that the closing attorney wire the seller’s proceeds to the scammer’s bank account.

In both cases, the money is wired to a bank located in another county or in the United States. The criminal withdraws the funds immediately and then wires the money to a bank in a foreign country. Sadly, before these wire fraud scams are discovered, the banks or the FBI cannot recover the funds.

Don’t Allow Yourself to be a Victim of Wire Fraud Scams

I know I’m stating the obvious here, but if you are involved in a real estate transaction, encrypted email software is a must. It is not an option! Protect yourself from real estate wire fraud scams. Don’t allow yourself to become a victim of the latest criminal scam. If you receive wiring instructions in an email, call your closing attorney at a number you know is valid to verify the wiring instructions. Do not call the number included in the email with wiring instructions.

If you have questions regarding encrypted email software, call Charles D’Allesandro, your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate, at (718) 253-9600 ext. 206 or email [email protected].

Charles D’Alessandro

Your Brooklyn Real Estate Agent with Fillmore Real Estate

718-253-9600 ext. 206

[email protected]