In recent months, real estate professionals have reported an upswing in a particularly insidious wire scam.
A hacker will break into a licensee’s e-mail account to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker will send an e-mail to the buyer, posing either as the title company representative or as the licensee. The fraudulent e-mail will contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and will request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly. Unfortunately, some buyers have fallen for this scheme, and have lost money.
This particular scheme is only one of many forms of online fraud currently being perpetrated against real estate licensees and their clients. The resources below provide guidance in protecting all parties to a real estate transaction from cybercrime.
REALTOR® Mag Speaking of Real Estate Blog
“ALERT: Wire Fraudsters Targeting Real Estate Transactions”
Orlando REALTOR® magazine article
Fraudulent title companies and fake legal firms skate the law
ORRA Committee Connection article
“Trends In Wire Fraud”