Technology is ingrained in every area of our lives, and real estate is no exception. While these modern advancements make everyday life easier, they can also complicate matters–particularly when the bad guys figure out how to crack the code. Here are some tips to help protect yourself from escrow wire fraud.
Escrow wire fraud is one of the most common types of real estate fraud. And once you’ve wired the money to a scammer, it’s gone forever.
When sending and receiving information via email (especially regarding finances), always check that the email address is correct. This is good practice not only for real estate, but general life on the internet! Often, sneaky scammers will set up email addresses that appear to be from the correct source but are misspelt by only a letter or two. The brain is amazing at auto filling information, so just be sure to take the time to properly vet the email address.
Also be cautious when accessing links that have been emailed to you. Often, thieves will build websites that look identical to a trusted website. While the site looks like you are on the right webpage, in reality it’s a farce designed to steal your information. Carefully inspect the URL at the top of your web browser. If something looks off, don’t enter your passwords or any other sensitive information.
Always refer to your initial documents and wire instructions that your lender provided. Call the number on your wire instructions to verify that they have requested specific documents. Additionally, follow up with the bank to confirm that the name on the account matches the correct title company.
Email isn’t the only means that sneaky scammers use to steal your information. Phony phone calls are made more believable by spoofing phone numbers. This is when a scammer fools your caller ID into displaying the right phone number, such as your lender’s phone number.
Trust your gut. If something feels off, ask to speak to someone that you have met in person. If the person on the other end of the line is providing you with wrong details, don’t correct them with proper information. They may be able to use that information to get what they need in order to steal from you.
The Nelson Riddle Team
When you work with the Nelson Riddle Team, you can be sure that we work with vendors who practice what we preach. The safety of your money and information is a priority to us. If you have any real estate related questions, please reach out to us at 619-878-5244 or use our contact form. We hope to speak with you soon!