Protect Yourself and Your Assets
Although buying or selling a home comes with plenty of excitement, you'll want to watch out for any scams along the way. Wire fraud is often unexpected and irreversible, but if you know what to look for, it's easy to stay safe.
Looking for more info on how to stay protected during a transaction? Don't worry—I have you you covered. Your safety is my top priority, and I'd be happy to answer any questions you may have about wire fraud or any other real estate scams you should know about.
What is Wire Fraud?
What do you know about wire fraud? If your answer is "nothing," that's okay—you're not alone. In the world of real estate, this scam involves someone posing as an agent and requesting large amounts of money via a wire transfer, which is often how buyers pay for their home at closing.
Wire transfers are almost always irreversible, which can leave you without the money you need to pay for your new home. The FBI has estimated that over $1 billion dollars has been stolen via real estate wire transfers in the last few years, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your savings.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Getting ready to close on your home? When in doubt, always stick to the instructions that your attorney or agent provided for your wire transfer. Hackers often assume the identity of someone you trust and send an email requesting last minute changes, such as a new routing number or transfer recipient. When in doubt, it's always best to double check with whoever sent the email to verify that it was really them.
Unfamiliar Numbers & Emails
It might be hard to tell if someone is posing as your agent, especially if they're hiding behind a computer screen. If someone sends you an email with wire instructions, be sure to verify the actual email address and see if it matches your original records. Any different routing, phone, or account numbers may also raise red flags. A good rule of thumb is to drop your agent a line to see if these "changes" are accurate—the last thing you want to do is send money to a different person.
Lack of Communication
When you're closing on a home, deadlines are everything. Many hackers prey on buyers by requesting a rush transfer, and they'll often refuse to speak on the phone if you have any questions. If your "agent" doesn't want to talk, it's probably not even them. Instead of making a rash decision, give them a call and tell them what's going on.
Go With Your Gut
When in doubt, it's always best to go with your gut feeling if an email doesn't sound quite right. There's no harm in being too cautious, especially if your life savings is on the line. A lot of written correspondence goes into buying a home, so be sure to read everything twice and ask plenty of questions if you're unsure of anything.
Buy with an Agent That Cares
Looking for an agent that will keep you protected during every step of the buying process? I'm here to help! As your Springboro real estate expert, I know the ins and outs of the local market—but I also keep up with national trends that you'll want to know about. For more info on wire transfers and potential real estate scams, feel free to reach out to me via phone or email.