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Real Estate Fraud Alert- Wire Transfers

Real Estate Fraud Alert- Wire Transfers

Recently in the MIBOR (Metropolitan Indianapolis Board of Realtors) area, there have been instances of attempted fraud. Basically what is happening is that when people are in the process of buying or selling homes and have to wire money to the title company prior to close, malevolent individuals are hacking the victims emails and sending them routing information which sends the victims money to an account associated with the perpetrator rather than the title company.

The industry has several safeguards built in to prevent these types of crimes, but given the prevalence of email hacking it is imperative that home buyers and sellers take a few simple steps to prevent becoming victims of this type of theft.

How to protect yourself from this type of wire fraud.

  • Use a secure password for your email. Not your dogs name, address, favorite color or anything else “easy” to remember. Use a minimum of one character, one capital letter, one number and make sure your password is at least 8 characters long. This won’t stop the professionals, as they use logarithmic programs to crack emails… but it will keep the lower tier hackers from gaining access to your email to begin with. Not perfect but it is a huge first step.
  • Verify the source of any email giving wiring instructions. Simply take a minute to open up the from box and read the email address. If the url ( is not from the title company that you are working with, disregard the message.
  • Verify the actual wire instructions. This is the one that will insure that you are not being defrauded. Take the time to look u the title companies phone number (not on the email, use a second source), or stop by their office… and verbally verify the routing numbers that are in the email you received. It won’t take you long to do, the title companies are aware this is a serious issue and are very happy to verify the information with you, and it can save you tens (or hundreds) of thousands of dollars.

In the event you receive an email giving you erroneous wire instructions, be a good citizen. Report it to the FBI so that they can investigate and help prevent others from becoming victims of this crime. You can report the attempt by calling (202) 324-3000, or online at the FBI tips page.

As always, if you are looking to buy or sell a home in the Indianapolis area… your best bet is to call Robb at 317-657-8059 or email to set up your FREE consultation.

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