Wire fraud is one of the fastest growing forms of fraud for consumers and financial institutions involved in real estate transactions. Many times consumers will let their guard down during the mortgage process leaving them vulnerable to lookalike emails. Some of the emails may try to get the borrowers to wire transfer funds for their mortgage to an account they control or asking them for personal information. The consumer believes that they are providing the information to their financial institution but in reality, they are providing it to the criminal.
According to the FBI, the number of wire fraud scams reported by title companies to the Internet Crime Complaint Center spiked 480 percent in 2016. Perpetrators monitor real estate transactions to perfectly time their fraudulent requests for changes in payment type (frequently from check to wire transfer) or changes in payment destination.
There are two common wire fraud scams;
The FBI said criminals seeking to steal roughly $5.3 billion through this type of fraud.
Mortgage 1 will always remain vigilant against this type of fraud through clear communication with our borrowers at all times. Homebuyers should always never open unsolicited links or attachments, and avoid sending sensitive financial information by email.
If you receive requests for wringing money, verify the information with your lender using an independently verified phone number and confirm wiring information.
Here are a few tips consumers should keep in mind during the mortgage process.
settlement agent to discuss. Don’t use phone numbers or links in the email.