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How-Does-Wire-Fraud-Impact-Homebuyerswire fraud

How Does Wire Fraud Impact Homebuyers?

18 Oct 2019

Real estate wire fraud is a sophisticated cybercrime that targets individuals making wire transfer payments to their real estate representatives during the home buying process. According to the FBI, 11,300 victims of real estate wire fraud lost $149 million in 2018 alone. This astonishingly high number represents a 166% increase in the total amount of money lost by wire fraud victims in 2017. Unfortunately, according to the FBI, only about 12-15% of  victims reported their cases.

 

At Marina Title, we firmly believe that the best way to combat these astonishing statistics is by educating homebuyers on how to protect themselves from wire fraud. While it is important to educate all consumers about the threat of real estate fraud, it is especially crucial to make sure first-time homebuyers are aware of this threat and know how to protect themselves, as they are especially vulnerable to this crime

 

According to experts, most real estate professionals know about wire fraud. However, not many of them understand how it works or how to help their clients prevent it. This lack of knowledge is the reason why you must choose your real estate professionals carefully and work with a Title Company that knows how to ensure your money remains protected throughout your real estate transaction.

 

How Does Real Estate Wire Fraud Work?

 

In the State of Florida, most fraudsters follow similar methods to defraud homebuyers. Hackers usually steal the identity of one of the victim’s real estate representatives and sends the victim an email requesting a wire transfer necessary to complete the real estate transaction. The email often includes a new bank account or payment schedule. In some cases, the hacker may even trick the buyer into clicking on a link that leads to a phishing site where they must enter their bank account information.

 

How Can Homebuyers Protect Themselves from Wire Fraud?

 

Fortunately, there are very effective ways to prevent wire fraud. In fact, protecting yourself from real estate wire fraud is fairly easy – all you need to do is be careful and vigilant.

 

The first step you need to take to prevent real estate wire fraud is to accept that it is a possibility and that you are vulnerable to it. Many homebuyers think they are too smart to be victims of wire fraud and drop their guard – you must not make that mistake.

 

Here are a few simple but effective tips:

 

  • Carefully scrutinize any email that contains information about wire transfers.
  • Never click on links or open any attachment in an email that comes from an unverified source.
  • Be careful with emails requesting personal information to “verify an account.”
  • Change your passwords periodically.
  • Never use the same email/password combination on multiple websites.
  • Update your anti-virus as regularly as possible to prevent malware attacks.
  • Make a phone call to get a verbal confirmation of any transaction request you receive before making any wire transfers.

Can a Title Company Protect Buyers from Wire Fraud?

 

The answer is short and simple – yes!

 

The most important step you can take to prevent real estate wire fraud in Florida is to hire a team of real estate experts to handle security for your real estate transaction. This is especially crucial if you are a first-time homebuyer. At Marina Title, our attention to detail and focus on security allow us to keep every single one of our clients safe from wire fraud.

 

Call us at (305) 901-5628 or send us an email to Romy@MarinaTitle.com to learn more about our services. Call any day, any time. We are open 24/7!

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