With scammers becoming more and more sophisticated, it is important you know how to identify fraud and protect yourself. Read on for more information on a common scam, wire transfer fraud, as well as recommendations on how to avoid it.
Wire fraud often occurs when scammers send fraudulent emails that look legitimate with false “updated wire instructions” for the mortgage loan closing. These instructions will advise the recipient to initiate a wire transfer request, unsuspectingly wiring money to the scammers instead of the Title Company or closing agent, often losing the transferred amount.
In order to protect yourself, here are some recommendations to keep in mind:
- Use our secure email portal whenever sharing secure, confidential, or sensitive information. You can access our secure email portal here.
- Always confirm payment instructions for a wire transfer by contacting the Title Company or Escrow Officer using a verified phone number. Do not rely on the contact information provided in email, it too may be fake.
- Be wary of any emails providing information on “updates” or “changes” to your wire instructions, as it is very likely to be a phishing attempt. Before taking action, verify the information directly with the Title Company or Escrow Officer using a verified or previously-known contact number.
- Be cautious about opening attachments and downloading files from emails or websites. These files can contain malware that can weaken your computer’s security.
- Keep your computer secure.
- Report suspicious activity.
If you receive an email and are unsure or in doubt about its validity, please contact your Loan Officer, Escrow Officer or Title Company directly to confirm the details.
Stay secure, friends!
This is for informational purposes only and is not an offer to extend consumer credit or a commitment to lend. Any opinions expressed in this blog post are those of of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Mortgage Trust, Inc. This blog may not include a complete list of factors.
Mortgage Trust, Inc. is an Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 3250