When Your Money Is Gone
If you are buying or selling a home, you could be scammed. One type of cybercrime targets Buyers and Sellers. Unbelievable, right?
Scammers hack into your email, your Realtor's email, and or your escrow officer's email. The scammer sees you are going to close on your property. The scammer then creates a fake email, possibly posing as an employee of the escrow company, and asks you to wire your closing funds to a fraudulent account. Once you hit "send", your money could disappear without a paper trail.
What can you do to prevent this? If you are the Buyer, rather than wiring in your money, you should use a cashier's check. Prior to your escrow signing, your mortgage lender will tell you your final deposit amount. A few days days before your signing, take the time to get a cashier's check from your bank. Bring this cashier's check to your signing.
In addition, it might be beneficial to schedule your escrow signing in the morning. If there was a mistake with your final deposit amount, you can always go back to the bank to get another cashier's check. Keep in mind that your deposits have to be "seasoned" in an escrow account for so many days prior to closing.
Fraud can occur anywhere. Buying and selling a home is usually an exciting process. However, scammers prey on these types of emotions. Be sure you double and triple check everything. This starts with securing your own email first. Next, it's critical you read each email thoroughly. If something seems strange, call attention to it.
The buying and selling process can be difficult to understand. Don't be afraid to ask questions to your Realtor and or your escrow officer.