Protect Your Money from Mortgage Closing Scams When Buying a Home

Disclaimer: This is for information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice.

Every day hackers try to steal your money by emailing fake wire instructions. Criminals will use a similar-looking (but fake) email address and steal a logo and other info to make it look like the email came from your real estate agent or title company.

You can protect yourself & your money by following these steps:

Be Vigilant

  • Call, don't click: Verify all wiring instructions before transferring your funds. Call the title company using an independently obtained and known phone number. Don't use phone numbers or links from an email.

  • Be aware: It's extremely rare that wiring instructions will change at the last minute, or that this information will be provided by email.

Protect Your Money

  • Confirm everything: Ask your bank to confirm the name on the receiving account before sending a wire.

  • Verify immediately: Within four to eight hours, call the title company or real estate agent to confirm they received your money.

What To Do If You've Been Targeted

Immediately:

  • Call your bank and ask them to issue a recall notice for your wire.
  • File a complaint with the FBI at www.IC3.gov.
  • Report the crime to your local FBI office.

Making a report within the first 24 hours provides the best chance of recovering your money.

For more information about mortgage closing scams, please visit the Wire Fraud topic page on nar.realtor.

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