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Wire Fraud Alert

Wire Fraud Alert: A Message From NEFAR Legal Counsel Jeff Marks

Wire fraud is becoming more prevalent in real estate transactions. Criminals monitor emails of real estate licensees, attorneys, title companies and others, and then wire fraudulent wire instructions, pretending to be the real estate licensee, attorney, title company or other party involved in the transaction.

NEFAR members: warn buyers and sellers about this scam and advise them that before they send a wire or confidential information, they should phone the intended recipient of the wire or confidential information to make sure they are wiring the money or sending the information to the correct recipient. I also suggest that you add language like the following to your email templates to disseminate the warning.

WIRE FRAUD ALERT. Criminals are hacking email accounts of real estate agents, attorneys, title companies and others, resulting in fraudulent wire instructions being used to divert funds to the account of the criminal. The emails look legitimate but they are not. You are advised not to wire any funds without personally speaking with the intended recipient of the wire to confirm the routing number and the account number. You should not send personal information such as Social Security Numbers, bank account numbers and credit card numbers except through secured email or personal delivery to the intended recipient.