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FRAUD ALERT

posted Feb 13, 2015, 2:48 PM by web admin
February 13, 2015 

Please be advised of a fraudulent scheme involving the hacking of email accounts and the misdirection of wired funds. 

We recently became aware of transactions involving a couple local real estate broker’s email accounts that were hacked or otherwise compromised.  Although legitimate wiring instructions had been in place pursuant to the transaction documents, the broker’s email was used to send new, fraudulent wiring instructions, purportedly coming from the office of the broker, to the office handling the closing. Luckily the closer questioned the new instructions and it was determined that the broker had not sent them.

Please consider the following best practices when handling wire transfers:
  1. If you are sending a wire, call the intended recipient to confirm the accuracy of the wiring instructions prior to initiating the wire transfer, unless you know that the wiring instructions are legitimate (e.g., from prior transactions). Before calling, confirm that the telephone number is authentic, since this can be part of the scheme as well. If possible, speak with someone you know personally. 
  2. If you are expecting a wire and it does not arrive, promptly contact the sender to advise them that you have not received the funds.
  3. If you are sending a wire and you receive new or conflicting wiring instructions, even if the new instructions purportedly come from someone with whom you have communicated previously, confirm the authenticity of the new instructions by seeking independent verification directly from a person known to you, using a different method, e.g., by phone, before initiating the wire.
  4. Do not place "Wiring Instructions" in the subject line of your email
If you have any questions, please contact us at 303-292-3055 or 800-525-6558 x0.

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