The internet is an amazing tool, but, unfortunately, not everyone uses it for good. Recently, scammers have been hacking into the email servers of title companies in order to con unsuspecting homebuyers out of thousands of dollars.

Here’s how it works: Scammers watch the servers in order to target a buyer, and then send out an email with fraudulent wiring instructions when the time comes for that buyer to close.

Generally, the scammers will direct the buyer to an offshore account—meaning that once the money is sent, there is nothing U.S. bank officials can do to recover it.

The money, no longer FDIC insured, becomes completely unprotected by virtue of the fact that the buyer sent it “willingly.”

“Whenever you receive an email from your title company asking you to wire funds, call your escrow agent and verify that the request is legitimate.”

However, there are a couple of things buyers can do to avoid falling victim to this scam, and the first step is simply to be informed.

Since we’ve already explained how this scam works, the next step buyers should follow is to remain vigilant during the course of your own transaction.

Whenever you receive an email from your title company asking you to wire funds, call your escrow agent and verify that the request is legitimate. Read back the account numbers to them during this call so that you can be 100% certain you aren’t being duped. Following these simple steps could make all the difference.

If you have any other questions or would like more information, feel free to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you soon.