If you are asked to immediately wire funds to the closing agent in a real estate transaction, if you get that email you should be very, very wary. What is happening, there’s a type of fraud going on where a Realtor’s email has been hijacked by a fraudster. How they do it is by having a link. They pose as a client and email a link. Once you click on the link there’s a program embedded that memorizes the key strokes so they can see when you’re entering your password then on your computer. They’re inside your computer and they can get your password.
They enter the Realtor’s email. Once they do that they fake an email from the closing attorney requesting the wire instructions. It will attach wiring instructions that isn’t going to the attorney’s account but is going to another bank account that the fraudster has. It may even be that bank account, they have hijacked that client’s bank account. It could be legitimate but the minute the money would be transferred into that bank account it will be immediately wired into the perpetrator’s account.
It’s a complex scheme to get the buyer in a real estate transaction to wire their funds to a third party. You have to be very cautious about ever accepting wire instructions that you haven’t confirmed that they were previously going to be sent to you by the closing attorney. Don’t just get wiring instructions and pass them onto your client. That isn’t how … We would always be working directly with the client to give wiring instructions. If we’re going to be doing the wiring of seller proceeds at closing, we’d be with a seller giving them the wiring instructions. Then working with your seller on where the proceeds are going to go if you’re the listing agent.
Just be very wary about wiring instructions. Please confirm them with the closing attorney. That’s a good way to watch out for fraud.