How can you avoid wire fraud when buying or selling a home? I have a few tips to protect your money today.
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There are many moving parts and pieces when you go to buy or sell a home these days, but the No. 1 thing I want to protect my clients from is wire fraud.
Wire fraud is the latest trend in real estate scams.
There are a couple of things that you should be aware of in order to avoid wire fraud.
If you are working with me as a buyer, then we are going to talk about how your earnest money gets delivered to the title company. You can do a wire transfer, but there several steps that you need to know.
First off, any emails from us or the title company will be very specific about what we need from you. I will never ask you for money or ask you to wire anything. I will advise you that you will be receiving information, and usually I’ll pick up the phone to tell you that you will be receiving wiring instructions from the title company.
All of the title companies that I work with send you a secure format to get you wiring instructions. Once you receive those wiring instructions, keep in mind that those instructions will not change. At no time during the transaction will you get an update from your title company that says, “Hey! We need you to wire to a different location.” That does not happen.
Once your wiring instructions are set, they will not change at any point during the transaction.
Any time you do get wiring instructions, you should follow up with a phone call. Always use the phone number for the title company that is on the purchase contract. You can also call me on my cell phone and we can verify the instructions together.
We are seeing too many people lose their hard-earned money to wire fraud.
As a seller, you will go in and complete an opening package for the title company. You can be very specific as to what you want done with your funds. Once that is set up, the title company will execute the transaction in that manner. You should never send financial information via email or submit such information to a website. Always make sure that you follow up with a real live person who is with a company that you and I trust.
Keep these things in mind during a real estate transaction to make sure your money gets where it’s supposed to go.
If you have any questions, just give me a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you!