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How to Protect Yourself from Real Estate Wire Fraud as a Seller

Wire fraud is rampant in the title industry. Fraudsters have been able to infiltrate many real estate transactions in order to receive the sale proceeds via wire transfer straight into their bank account. 

As word gets out of this danger, buyers are doing what they can to protect their funds. And many accept guidance from the professionals around them, such as title agents, realtors, loan officers, and more. 

Despite their best efforts, many buyers and sellers alike still find themselves victims of wire fraud

Below you will find what you can do to have a smooth, safe transaction. 

What is Real Estate Wire Fraud? 

Real estate wire fraud is a type of internet crime in which scammers attempt to gather private details that are involved in a transaction. 

Using phishing emails and attempting to be someone they aren’t, the fraudsters can convince the person on the other end to change the account number for the wire transfer of their down payment and/or their closing funds. This money goes directly into the hands of the hacker. 

Buyers are often at the greatest risk as they are the ones holding the money. Those wanting to cause harm know this and deem them the target. With polished technique, they can make even the most seasoned professional think that they are having a valid conversation with someone they can trust. 

Do you know what happens when buyers are targeted? Sellers become the victims. They are expecting to receive the proceeds from the sale of their property. They have patiently gone through the motions of the transaction – only to find that the money ended up in a thief’s hands.

Warning Signs of Wire Fraud

Sometimes, wire fraud can be easy to spot. Other times, not so much. Here are a few warning signs to look out for: 

  • Emails that have typos, misspellings, incorrect words, odd phrases, etc.
  • A pushy email requesting information that is marked as a rush 
  • Emails insisting on email communication only – no phone calls
  • An unknown return email address or not the usual email address used

It is important to remember that wire fraud doesn’t always just include the changing of bank account information. It may start with a fraudulent email or other communication as a means of gaining trust. This is then used as a tool to change the account information for receiving the wired funds. 

Enlist the Right Title Company

If you want to protect yourself from real estate fraud as a seller, then enlisting the right title company is where you should begin. 

While it can vary from place to place, it is customary for the seller to select the title company. This allows you to choose one that is prepared to protect against real estate fraud. 

Title companies play a huge role in real estate transactions, especially in their role as a facilitator. They ensure that everything is done properly, legally, and thoroughly. In addition to these things, the right title company will have invested in fraud prevention software. 

It is one thing to be aware of potential scams, but it is quite another to do something about it. Title companies that take the time to find the best protection to keep their clients safe are who you need to work with. Their software program should be user-friendly and highly effective to keep the transaction free from any type of breach.

As the seller, this means you can feel as though the transaction will go smoothly and that all sale proceeds will be safely and securely delivered to you as intended. 

When you are ready to sell your property and begin your quest for the perfect title company, this should be one of the major points of discussion. 

Wire Fraud Protection from Closinglock

At Closinglock, we made it our mission to create a secure, easy-to-use platform for title companies that will protect buyers and sellers in any real estate transaction. So, iIf you are selling your home, find a title company that has taken the initiative to protect all the parties involved with a trusted software program. 

Contact us today to learn more.