Wire Fraud Warning! Keep your money safe.
CYBER-CRIMINALS are constantly looking for victims to wire them commissions, sales proceeds or deposits. Real estate transactions are especially vulnerable. Here's steps on how you can help protect your money.
Call Before Sending Any Money
- Before sending funds, call us at a number you know is accurate to verify the instructions. Do not use the phone number in an email – even if the email looks like it is from us.
- Call us if you are suspicious. Be wary of any email asking for money early or asking for part of the money needed to close. Don’t trust an email that changes, updates or is “re-sending” wire instructions.
- Call your bank. After talking to us, talk to your bank to confirm it has the correct information.
Call After Sending
- Call us after sending us your money to make sure we received it.
- Staying in touch with your escrow officer is the best way to avoid problems.
Act Immediately If Something Seems Wrong
- Contact your bank. Ask your bank to contact the bank where the fraudulent wire was sent.
- Contact your local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) office – the FBI can work with other agencies and might be able to help return or freeze the funds.
- File a complaint online with the FBI at bec.ic3.gov.
Watch the following video to learn more about how criminals are using phishing emails to intercept proceeds from real estate transactions.
Is your email account secure?
Email is the weak point where fraud starts! Many times your email has been hacked and you have no idea. Two-step verification is a simple process to keep your email secure from hackers.
What Is Two-Step Email Verification?
You use a four digit PIN when at your ATM, right? Shouldn’t you treat the important and personal information in your email in the same way by securing it with a ‘PIN-like’ number?
Two-step verification is a simple process to validate that the device (laptop, tablet, cell phone, etc.) being used by you to access your email is a device that you have authorized. For instance, a hacker trying to access your account with a stolen password from his/her device would likely not be able to gain access if you have two-step verification in place. If someone had your debit card and incorrectly guessed your PIN, your account would be shut down after a couple of false inputs. Much the same, even if a hacker has stolen your username and password, if they input your verification code incorrectly, you will be notified and they will not gain access.
What’s At Risk? If Someone Steals Your Password, They Can:
- Re-direct transactions to hacker’s accounts, subjecting you to potential significant financial losses
- Change or steal your personal information on online accounts
- Send unwanted emails, posing as you
How Two-Step Verification Works
- You will enter your email and password as you typically would when logging into your email.
- You will be prompted to enter a code, which has been sent to your phone via text, voice call, mobile app, or security key. This is combining something you know (username and password), with something you have (your cell phone).
- After being prompted to enter the verification code from your device, you have the option to mark this device as ‘trusted’ (meaning that you do not have to use the two-step process each time) and the log in process will be automatic in the future for this device.
These codes are for a onetime use. You never have to remember them, because each time you log in, you will be sent a new one (unless you’ve marked that device as “trusted”).
How Two-Step Protects You
- The two-step method provides an added layer of protection for your email accounts; however, there are no actual or implied guarantees.
- Someone trying to access your email from a different device will be prompted to confirm with a security code, but unless they have access to your preferred method of contact, they would not be able to receive this information.
- Each code can only be used once, and is uniquely crafted for your account when you need it!
Instructions for Your Email Provider