What Is Wire Fraud?
Wire fraud is a type of fraud that involves the use of some form of telecommunications or the internet. These can include a phone call, a fax, an email, a text, or social media messaging, among many other forms. Wire fraud is punishable by prison and/or fines.
Real estate wire scams/Fraud
Real estate wire scams target people in the closing process of buying or refinancing a home. A scammer gains access to a legitimate email account to impersonate a realtor, escrow officer, attorney, or lender and then provides fraudulent wiring instructions to funnel the money directly into the scammer’s account.
To help avoid this scam:
- Know what to expect before closing on a loan by confirming the process with your lender. If you receive a last minute change or urgent request to wire money to avoid losing the property, contact your mortgage consultant.
- Before wiring money, confirm instructions with your Escrow Officer by calling a phone number you trust, preferably the escrow company number. Do not call a new number or respond to an email with new instructions.