It’s been an issue for years now, and since the pandemic started, it’s gotten even worse. Wire fraud attempts targeting real estate continue to rise, and with it, thousands of dollars are lost to these scams each year.

The Placer Title team is grateful for those continuing to raise awareness around this issue, including this recent spot on Good Morning America.

Need a refresher on how these wire fraud thefts come to fruition?

Scammers typically send a phishing email to anyone involved in a transaction (Realtors, loan officers, attorneys, and, yes, title companies) to gain access to accounts and the buyer’s personal information.

They then contact the buyer, sometimes using a method called spoofing.

Finally, they attempt to get the buyer to wire money into a new account. If successful, that money is gone forever.

With spoofing, fraudsters can mimic the exact phone number and email address of those of us working so hard to close the deal. This makes it even more difficult for buyers to determine whether the person emailing them is legitimate. That’s why sharing financial information using unsecure email is so risky.

Tips to pass along to your buyers to combat fraud

  1.  Verify the closing process in detail before Closing Day. This way, everyone knows what to expect. Any last-minute changes should raise concerns and red flags.
  1. Double-check a sender’s email address for any communications about your transaction, especially if the message asks about financial information.
  1. Always feel free to call your closer and verify how you should send your money to complete your transaction.

These scammers seem to prefer Fridays as their target day, hoping the victim won’t discover anything is amiss until Monday.

We know that purchasing a home is a life-changing experience. When you work with Placer Title, you can feel confident that your transaction is safe and secure. To continue protecting our partners and customers from this threat, we need your help.

Stay vigilant, and always be on the lookout for cybercriminals attempting to target your money. Please reach out to us if something ever seems off during your transaction. We’re just a phone call away!