Wire transfer scams in the real estate industry are on the rise. Buying a home should be a joyful, celebratory affair; however, in reality, wire transfer fraud victims around the world are losing their life savings daily in the closing process.
Criminals are exploiting the complex and hurried nature of real estate, which makes these scams relatively easy to carry out and often effective. The number of vulnerable parties involved in the real estate closing process - attorneys, lenders, agents, title companies, sellers and buyers - also works to attackers’ advantage. According to the FBI, between 2017 and 2018 there was a 166% increase in US real estate wire fraud losses, and experts believe that as little as 15% of this fraud is reported.
Criminals initiate wire trasnfer scams by compromising the email account of a title company or a realtor using malware sent via email. Because of this, it is imperative that companies in the real estate sector invest in an email security gateway solution that provides multi-layered, end-to-end control of their email accounts, preventing fraudulent emails from reaching the inbox and thus mitigating their risk of being involved in a dangerous and costly wire transfer scam.