Email Fraud and how to Prevent It

No one ever thinks wire fraud will happen to them, but the fact is, one in three real estate transactions will be targeted by a fraudster. How can you protect yourself from becoming a statistic?

Watch out for impersonation. In one of the most common forms of fraud, hackers pretend to be somebody else and send false instructions to infiltrate your transaction. These emails may appear authentic, using similar domain names and imagery such as logos.

Tip! Emails from your Escrow Officer WILL have their company name as the email. Realtors may not – so it is best to SAVE ALL Contact info in your device so you know it is the correct email and phone.

Follow wiring instructions. Read wire instructions carefully and review them with your escrow officer. Tip! Always verify the wire instructions by calling a trusted number. Never send your financial information over unsecured email.

Look out for common email tells. Subtly different email domains, misspellings, and last-minute changes may all be signs of fraud.

Hover over links or attachments before clicking to verify the source. Independently verify phone numbers, program the title company’s number in your phone and only accept calls from that number.

If something seems suspicious… If you receive a message to change wiring instructions…

Call your escrow officer at an independently verified phone number and confirm.

Defend your email. Fraudsters gather information about transactions by watching emails behind the scenes. Security measures such as multi-factor authentication can make it more difficult for hackers to force their way into your account.

My 2 Cents – SAVE YOUR CONTACTS! Use a photo or emoji to know that they are the one calling or emailing you and that it IS from the correct source. If something feels off – Call Your Realtor or your Escrow Officer Directly.

Thank you First American Title for this info.

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