Notes: This article contains advice about how to avoid wire fraud and should not be considered legal or financial advice. The author assumes no responsibility for the accuracy or completion of this advice. If anyone has questions about wire fraud, contact your agent or a title company before making a transfer.
If you want legal advice you should get it from a lawyer. If you want financial advice you should get it from a financial adviser.
I hope you can see that wire fraud is a real problem in real estate, with new reports out every few weeks about it. It happens to ordinary, smart people, tricked by increasingly smart scammers due to the large amounts of money that can be had if they are successful.
Simply put, wire fraud is the act of stealing money by wire (digital transfer). In real estate, it usually happens when buyers are making a purchase, and then scammers imitate emails from the title companies, giving them fake wire instructions, and then the buyers complete the wire transfer immediately before the actual transaction is supposed to close.
This is obviously the key component to wire fraud. They get this information in different ways, but most commonly
Either way, the wire instructions will be out of country, usually to Eastern Europe or Africa, and this will never be the case with legitimate wire transfers.
Notify the bank, the FBI, the title company, and the agent right away. Don’t be afraid to report something right away before it is too late to get it back. Once the money has left the country, it is very difficult to recover.