Want to Stay Protected?
Are you getting ready to buy or sell your home? First of all, congrats! Although you may be eager to embark on your next adventure, you'll want to be aware of any problems that could come up along the way.
Wire fraud is one of the latest scams affecting the world of real estate, and it can harm even the most informed consumers. Luckily, the ParkSide Realty Group is here to help protect you and your assets during every step of the process. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us. Your safety is always our top concern!
What is Wire Fraud?
Although you might know a bit about wire fraud, it works a bit differently in the real estate industry. Simply put, this scam involves someone posing as someone you trust (such as an agent, attorney, or lender) 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. Unfortunately, most victims of this heinous crime don't discover what happened until it's too late—but there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
Red Flags to Watch Out For
Before you head to your closing, your real estate agent and attorney will probably give you specific instructions for your wire transfer. If you ever receive an email asking you to change your routing number, requesting a rush transfer, or telling you to alter your original instructions, don't respond. It could be from a hacker imitating someone you trust.
Unfamiliar Numbers & Emails
Is someone posing as your agent? It might be hard to tell, especially via email. However, if you know what to look for, you can catch even the most experienced fraudsters. If you receive an email that seem suspicious, try checking the actual email address it came from (not just the screen name!). Addresses, phone and routing numbers, and even names can sometimes be just a letter off—which means it could be fake.
Lack of Communication
Your agent, attorney, or lender is a main point of contact during the buying process. If you get an email saying they need the money for your closing right away and don't have time to talk, your alarm bells should start going off. There's always time for a phone call, so be sure to reach out to them for verbal confirmation.
Go With Your Gut
When in doubt, it's always best to go with your gut feeling if it seems like something isn't quite right. When you're dealing with your life savings, there's no such thing as being too cautious! If you'd like to add another layer of protection, you can even contact your bank and tell them to not authorize a wire transfer without verbal confirmation from you first.
Ready to Buy Your Dream Home?
When you're in the market for a new home, you'll want to go with a team that knows the ins and outs of all things real estate. That's where we come in! For more info on wire transfers and potential real estate scams, just call or email ParkSide Realty Group. We're always looking out for you!