We live in an increasingly electronic world where the speed of transactions is reduced to micro seconds.
In the instant data age, we have to be hyper-vigilante for instant scams. Criminals are adjusting to the technology and using our own tools against us.
This is ever so apparent in the increase of WIRE FRAUD.
Wiring money is an efficient way of electronically transferring funds from one institution to another. A home buyer often wires their down payment from their account to the Escrow Officer’s. It requires a precise set of numbers to direct the funds into the correct account.
We are seeing a national increase in fraudsters access the email chain between the escrow officer and the borrower. They send what appears to be legitimate correspondence telling borrowers that wire instructions for their transaction have changed.
The borrower then gives the new wire information to their bank and their closing funds are sent to the fraudster instead of the legitimate title company.
There are a variety of ways criminals are using to intercept the data and are using increasing levels of sophistication. Some emails are easy to spot as fraudulent, others- not so much- so we are encouraging all borrowers to have a multi-step process for wiring funds.
The Heath Team consults with each of our borrowers at the beginning of the loan and reminds them to call us before sending ANY money to any party, including ourselves. They should not use any contact info in the email requesting funds and should never discuss the matters over the phone until the identity of the caller is confirmed. They should call their loan officer or escrow officer on previously established numbers to confirm the details and amounts.
Working together, we can create a safe space for wiring funds and keeping you on track to purchase your home!