October 9th, 2016 11:22 AM by Taydus Taydus, AHWD, CNE, CRS, GRI
At some point during your home buying journey, there is a good chance that you will need to wire funds to the title company - either your Earnest Money, Down Payment, or the complete Purchase Price if you are paying cash.
Unfortunately there are some bad people out there that are just waiting to hack you out of your hard earned money! They do not care who they hurt, and they do not care that their maliciousness could cost you your new home.
At the risk of sounding like an alarmist, I want to make you aware that there is a very real scam out there being perpetrated by hackers.The thief hacks into a Realtor or title company's email and contacts you requesting that you wire your funds to a specific account. From your end the email appears to be coming from your trusted Realtor or Title Company. The thief has you wire your money to an account that they have control of (typically it goes some place outside of the country) and you never see your money again. They back out of the email server leaving no trace that they were ever there. At this time, there is no way to catch them. Your money is gone and your purchase terminates unless you have other means of paying.I am advising my clients to physically pick up the phone and speak to a person at the title company to obtain wiring instructions. Then, call again to confirm that they received them. Never wire your money via wiring instructions that have been sent to you by email!If you receive an email that appears to be from your Realtor, and something does not seem "right", ALWAYS make sure you verbally connect with your Realtor before providing any personal information via email. As your Realtor, I will never ask you for your social security number (the title company will need this info so you can call and give it directly to them), or your bank account numbers. Be smart, report any suspicious activity, and take the extra step of calling the title company before and after you wire any money.Please CLICK HERE to be taken to a recent Channel 7 News report regarding this scam.