By Kathy Davis
By Kathy Davis
Wire Fraud is a huge issue these days and it can affect anyone. No one is safe!
Why is it so prevalent? Most communications these days are done via the internet. Criminals are able to intercept emails before they get to you and alter just a few items in the email so that the monies are transferred to them. But the email looks like it's coming from the title company since they only changed the account number and routing number, maybe the bank name and a phone number, but the rest is left alone so their logos, etc are there and it looks legitimate to you.
Why doesn't email security work? Most title companies go to great lengths to protect your email communications with encrypted mail. However that doesn't always work since people can forward the emails and then the encryption is lost. Encryption is also not 100% safe but it is still better than not being protected at all.
How can you protect yourself? Never, ever, ever accept emailed wiring instructions. Either pick up a printed version from the title company yourself or get them verbally from a known number that was given to you by your realtor or printed on the contract.
Why do I have to wire? Your contract states that we must have "collected funds" on the day of closing and if we receive funds any way other than a wire they are not considered "collected" and therefore we cannot fund for 10 days (the timeline the lenders give the title companies). Also, the traditional certified and bank checks can be forged, the criminals are learning new tricks and we all need to be one step ahead to protect your money.