Cybersecurity Alert - Real Estate Fraud

Cybersecurity is increasingly prominent in our technologically-dependent world. We want to make it a point of emphasis to pass along info on the latest threats and best practices.

Schwab recently issued an alert about fraud schemes targeting real estate purchases. The fraudsters’ goal is to deceive the purchaser into wiring funds to the wrong account.

The scams involve gaining access one party’s email – the escrow company, the real estate agent, or the client. If the escrow or agent’s email is compromised, the fraudster will send the client fake wire instructions. If the client’s email is compromised, the fraudster sends the client’s adviser fake wire instructions.

Fraudsters know that people rarely complete real estate transactions and are therefore less able to spot fraud. They also know that the parties anticipate the wire, so the request does not seem unusual. And, of course, the amount involved makes the transaction a prime target.

Burton Enright Welch does not complete wire transactions without speaking to and verifying client identities by phone. Never trust wire instructions received by email, even if they look legitimate. Call a trusted party at a verified phone number to confirm the instructions before completing a transaction.