Buying Or Selling A Home?
Wire Fraud Schemes are a real threat during any real estate transaction. Liberty Title is here to help you protect your money!
Liberty Title will never send wiring instructions via email nor ask you to provide your wiring instructions via email!
Liberty Title is committed to getting your deal closed safely and securely! Any real estate transaction process is a target for cyber criminals and we’re here to help you keep your money safe.
“Phishing scams” are one of the most common criminal schemes in the industry. Criminals will use a fake email address, steal a logo, and use cherry-picked info to make an email look like it came from your real estate agent, lender or title company. Be warned! These emails contain phony wiring instructions, which means your money can be lost. We don’t want to scare you though! There are many steps you can take to protect yourself and your money. When dealing with wiring instructions, be sure to always follow these steps:
Education is Power
- Pick up the phone. Talk directly with your Liberty Title Office or with your agent to understand the process of how you will send or receive wiring instructions.
- Call, don’t email. Confirm your wiring instructions by phone using a known number before transferring funds. Trust us, we will always answer to confirm wiring instructions (and we love receiving these calls from vigilant customers!)
- Don’t use phone numbers or links from an email. Always go back to the original source. Verify our phone numbers on our website or call your real estate agent to assist.
- Remember that wiring instructions rarely change. It’s uncommon for title companies to change wiring instructions and payment info by email. Liberty Title will NEVER send wiring instructions via email nor ask you to provide wiring instructions via email.
- Keep a close eye on the details. A letter changed in the email address (ksmith@xyztitle vs ksmlth@xyztitle). Misspelled words? Poorly formatted emails? A lack of personal information? These are a few hallmarks of a forged email.
Confirm, Confirm, Confirm
- Double (or triple!) check everything. Ask your bank to confirm the name on the account before sending a wire.
- Verify immediately. If buying, within a few hours, call your Liberty Title office or your real estate agent confirm your money has been received. If selling, within a few hours, call your bank to confirm your money has been received in your account.
What To Do If You’ve Been Targeted
Detecting that you sent money to the wrong account within 24 hours is the best chance of recovering your money. Take action immediately!
- Call Your Bank. Ask your bank to issue a recall notice for your wire immediately.
- Report the crime. Contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.IC3.gov) and file a report with the FBI.
- Call your regional FBI office and police. They can start the process of trying to recover your money immediately.