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.
Email is a popular method for providing instructions for sending funds at closing. Because of this, it is imperative that title companies, credit unions and other companies involved in the real estate closing process 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 falling for a dangerous and costly wire transfer scam.