Not a Day Goes By that There is Not Another Alert about New Scams.
The scammers are quick, resilient, and always thinking. They will fly too close to the sun, crash, and then rise again from the ashes. Time does change their tactics. About a decade ago, they were all working in some kind of Loan Modification, Short Sale, or Foreclosure scheme. There are now branching out.
Recently, the California Association of Realtors designed a new form just to handle one type of scam that can cost someone lots of money.
Information about the Wire Fraud Advisory (WFA, 6/16)
The Form: Wire Fraud Advisory (WFA, 6/16)
The Objective: To alert homeowners, buyers, sellers, lenders, escrow officers, notaries, brokers, and anyone else involved in Real Estate.
The Message: While you are wiring money, be careful. The hacker will get into someone’s account. They will sit on the account until someone wires money. Then, they will simply send substitute wiring instructions. Seconds later, the money will be in Cypress. Minutes later, it will be in some other place before, finally, becoming untraceable.
All Real Estaters: Retrieve a copy of this form and discuss it with your clients now, whether they are working on a transfer or not. It lists five steps to prevent this from happening. To summarize, never wire funds without calling your escrow officer to confirm escrow instructions. Also, remember to use the phone number that they previously gave you.
You know what I would do: When you call, ask them the correct number and then ask them their mother’s maiden which you already know.
But This Never Happens in Real Life, Right?
I know you computer people think that you are so secure and that nothing can ever happen to you. So did the CIA, John Podesta, and many others who thought that. Get off your big, fat computer and make sure this is done right. Someone could stand to lose THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS. Real Estate Agents, you will be sued even if you were no where near the crime.
Remember the CAR Form Number: WIRE FRAUD ADVISORY, WFA 6/16