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It’s Important to Keep Up the Wire Fraud Fight This Holiday Season

The time of year is always full of joy, goodwill and plenty of activity. We know this is a special – and busy time for us all. While we’d love for this Premier Title Agency message to be only full of Christmas cheer, it’s not. With the rush to get things done over the next month, it’s important that none of us let our guard down when it comes to the dangers of wire fraud.

During the process of buying or selling a home, it takes plenty of people surrounding our customers to protect their best interests and their money. Realtors, loan officers and title companies are on the same team, and we should all be talking to our buyers and sellers about wire fraud.

It’s important to start these conversations as early as possible. Consider it the first defense or running interference. Realtors, that’s why we need you in particular to keep up the fight.  Many families are on the side of, “That couldn’t possibly happen to me,” without realizing they may be at risk as they speak those very words. That story was from 2020, but here is one from last month. In total, there was more than $213 million reported lost due to real estate wire fraud in 2020 according to the FBI. 

Clueing in buyers and sellers on what to look for concerning wire fraud is as easy as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Beware of inbox overload. Most scammers count on your customers being swayed by eye-catching subject lines in their email. If it sounds too good to be true or seems bogus, it probably is.
  2. Last minute isn’t in it.  Remind your customers that last minute wiring changes by email near closing time won’t be the norm. If there are needed changes, let them know that you will contact them personally…but not through an unsolicited email.
  3. Questions?  Reassure your customers that you are ready and willing to answer any questions they may have. Tell them to call you or us directly if they have any suspicions.  Maintaining open lines of communication may mean the difference between frustrations and congratulations. Plus, they or you  should always feel free to verify anything with the Premier Title team.  

Getting real about wire fraud — and the very real threat it is to every transaction — can seem daunting at first, but it’s well worth it for the safety and security of your clients. We are proud to call you a part of our village and look forward to working with you concerning the safety of our customers. Just like we tell our buyers and sellers…never be afraid to call if you have questions about these cybercriminals or any other title and closing issue. Together, we’ll be the superheroes our customers need and the escrow partners they can trust.