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Shafi Noss#2 Innovative Strategies Contributor
  • Washington, D.C.
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Wire Fraud Protection

Shafi Noss#2 Innovative Strategies Contributor
  • Washington, D.C.
Posted Dec 28 2023, 08:05

I haven't been a victim and would like to keep it that way. I heard a story of a borrower who changed the payoff letter and wire instructions to the title company and then impersonated the lenders voice on the wire confirmation phone call, title company didn't catch it. What are the best ways to protect against wire fraud?

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Mike Hern
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Mike Hern
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Replied Dec 28 2023, 08:38
Quote from @Shafi Noss:

I haven't been a victim and would like to keep it that way. I heard a story of a borrower who changed the payoff letter and wire instructions to the title company and then impersonated the lenders voice on the wire confirmation phone call, title company didn't catch it. What are the best ways to protect against wire fraud?

Wire fraud is a very real problem.
I get wire transfers a lot. I'll email the routing number and once I'm sure they have received that, I switch to text or phone to give the account number. We handle the wire while I'm on the phone.

Another one that has been around for a while, is up and coming again, is fake websites for banks. Apparently people are creating very authentic looking sites. Then they are sending authentic looking emails for people to fix something about their account. Once they receive the email and enter the website the account & password are captured. Another one is dublicating debit account numbers at grocery stores and gas stations.

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Andrew Postell
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Andrew Postell
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Replied Dec 28 2023, 08:57

@Shafi Noss the best way to prevent it is to always call the title company for confirmation before sending your wire.  Meaning, don't call the number on the wire instructions...call the title company directly.  Speak with the person who you know that is working on your transaction to confirm.  That's the best way.

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Tom Gimer
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Tom Gimer
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Replied Dec 28 2023, 17:30

Never, ever fall for a "we've updated our wire instructions" email purporting to come from a title company... whether requesting an EMD, cash to close, anything.

Verify that every email address contacting you regarding a real estate transaction is not a spoof. Every character counts. The scams are getting deeper and more clever.

Call the title company directly at their published phone number to confirm wire instructions immediately prior to sending any funds.

Most title companies are now using enhanced wire fraud protection methods so be prepared to deal with delays these extra precautions may cause in disbursement.

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Chris Seveney
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Chris Seveney
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Replied Dec 28 2023, 18:35

@Tom Gimer

I agree

Most title companies send the email encrypted so you have to login to review it.

I always make sure the phone on their website matches the one in their email signature