Buying or selling a home is a big deal, and it should be a happy occasion. However, there's a nasty crime called wire fraud that can spoil everything if you're not careful. At Brighton Bank, we want to make sure you know about wire fraud, how it happens, and how to prevent it from happening to you.
Wire fraud happens when criminals trick you into sending them money. They mostly use email to do this, but they could also use phone calls or fake websites. When you're buying or selling a home, you'll likely be sending or receiving large amounts of money through wire transfers. Criminals know this, so they send fake emails pretending to be from your real estate agent, title company, or even the bank. These emails often have fake instructions on where to send the money.
Here’s a simple guide on how you can avoid falling into their trap:
1. Get Contacts Early
For a simple guide, at the beginning of the process, when buying or selling a home, in order to avoid wire fraud, get the correct phone numbers and email addresses for your real estate agent, title company, and bank. Write these down in a safe place.
2. Confirm Over Call, Not Email
If you get an email about wiring money, call the person supposed to send you the email using the contact information you wrote down to confirm it's really them. Do not use the phone number or email provided in the suspicious email, as they might be fake.
3. Stay Alert
If something changes at the last minute or seems off, like the bank account details for the wire transfer, call your contacts to double-check everything.
4. Double-Check Everything
Before you send a wire transfer, call your bank and make sure the name on the account matches the name you have on file.
5. Immediate Verification
After sending the money, call your real estate agent or title company to make sure they received it.
6. Consider Cyber Liability Insurance
Think about getting cyber liability insurance. This insurance could help cover losses if you ever do fall victim to wire fraud.
7. Day-of-Transfer Confirmation
On the day you send the money, call the recipient to confirm the wiring instructions again. It's better to be safe than sorry.
8. Understand Your Closing Process
Learn about the closing process and talk with your real estate agent or attorney about the right way to transfer funds. Knowing what to expect will help you spot anything unusual.
9. Beware of Last-Minute Changes
Be extra cautious if you receive new instructions at the last minute. Always call your trusted contacts to confirm any changes.
10. Avoid Emailing Financial Info
Unfortunately, if you do get tricked by a wire fraud, act fast. Call your bank right away to stop the transfer. Report the fraud to ic3.gov, contact your local FBI office, and file a report with the local police. The quicker you act, the better chance you have to recover your money.
For more information on the home transaction process and how to stay safe, check out homeclosing101.org. We at Brighton Bank are also here to help you through the process, ensuring a safe and secure transaction. Remember, staying informed and being cautious can save you from the headache of wire fraud.
This simple guide aims to simplify the process of understanding and preventing wire fraud when you are buying or selling your home. By following these straightforward steps and being aware of the risks, you can ensure a smooth, secure transaction and keep the excitement of acquiring a new home or selling your property joyful and stress-free.