By Anthony J. Viviani, ATA National Title Group
Wire transfers of funds are quite common in today’s real estate transactions, but they are increasingly the target of theft and fraud. Buyer’s funds brought to closing, seller’s proceeds, and funds to pay off liens are all current targets. Most commonly, the theft begins with an intrusion into an email account. From there, the fraudster gains access to not only information about the present transaction but also other personal information such as the password for online banking. In 2018, the FBI reported over $2.7 billion of losses due to cybercrimes, a 238% increase from 2014. Preventing wire fraud starts with an understanding of the various ways it can be perpetrated.
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