SOMEONE IS TRYING TO STEAL YOUR MONEY: WIRE FRAUD WARNING
Buying and selling a home is an exciting time, but there can be pitfalls for unsuspecting consumers. Your team at Patten Title wants you to be aware that criminals are using wire fraud schemes to steal money meant for home purchases or the proceeds from the sale of the property.
For more information about closing scams, go to stopwirefraud.org
5 Tips to Protect Yourself Against Wire Fraud
Tip #1: Pick up the phone
Email is quick and easy, but when it comes to guarding your life savings, take an extra few moments and use the phone. Confirm all wiring instructions with a simple phone call before transferring any funds. Use only a verified phone number from the title company’s website or a business card.
Tip #2: Be suspicious of a change in plans
It is highly unusual for title companies to send you revised wiring instructions or ask you to wire funds to an account that is not in their name. If you’re wiring closing funds to ABC Title, make sure it matches the bank account name listed on their wiring instructions.
Tip #3: Confirm the details
Ask your bank to confirm not just the account number but also the name and location of the account before sending a wire. Under Federal Law your bank is only required to verify the account number and routing number.
Tip #4: Verify immediately
When wiring funds for closing, call the title company and let them know the date the wire is being sent and the amount. You should also confirm that the funds were received.
Tip #5: Learn to spot fraudulent email.
Look closely at the sender’s email and look for telltale signs that it could be a scam. Check for the company’s usual email signature with contact info. If it is misspelled or missing altogether be very cautious. Even if the scammer has copied the company’s contact information, you would notice when you hit reply that the email address is suddenly different or often the sender email address is extremely similar to the legitimate email but with the addition of one letter or two “v”s to make a “w”. Often but not always, fraudulent emails don’t sound professional and are not well written. If the email is filled with misspellings and poor grammar, there’s a good chance it’s fraudulent.
IF YOU HAVE BEEN VICTIMIZED BY WIRE FRAUD, THE FBI RECOMMENDS YOU TAKE THESE STEPS IMMEDIATELY.
Time is of the essence. The sooner the complaint is filed the better chance you have of your money being returned.
- Ask your bank to contact the bank where the fraudulent wire was sent.
- Contact the local authorities
- Contact your local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office.
- Click here to file a complaint with the FBI’s official Internet Crime Complaint Center