According to the FBI’s 2018 Internet Crime Report, $192 million in funds were recovered from fraudulent business transfers. Overall, that amounted to 75% of all stolen funds.
In the real estate and rental category, the amount stolen from cyberfraud victims reached over $149 million. Also, when hackers target you, they try impersonate your real estate agent or title company. The Florida Land Title Association warns that hackers will try to steal your money by using similar email addresses that belong to your real estate representatives. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
- Be wary: Web-based email accounts are easily hacked and hackers do a great job at imitating companies. If you suspect a scam, do not call the number on the email. Contact your agent or title company immediately.
- Always call to verify: Call to confirm wiring instructions with your real estate agent or title company. If there are any changes in payment instructions or confirmation requests immediately verify it with your representative. This may be an attempt to steal your information.
- Be alert: Requests for secrecy or pressure to take immediate action are common tactics for hackers. Do not click any links or follow instructions.
Keeping your money safe
We do our best to prevent cyberfraud during the wiring process. Here is what you need to know:
- We’ll never send a second email regarding wiring instructions or request to make changes to a different bank or account.
- Do not send your funds until we confirm the wiring instructions via phone call.
- Pay close attention to emails around your closing date. Double check phone numbers and email addresses. Hackers intercept emails to look for buzzwords that indicate a closing to send out false information. This includes different wiring instructions or account transfers.
If you suspect anything or receive a second email regarding wiring instructions, call us immediately. We want to help make your closing process safe and worry-free.