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CAUTION - WIRE FRAUD INFORMATION
This is important information for all clients.
Blondell Properties is committed to safe practices with our clients. We will NEVER send wiring instructions via email. All information regarding wiring instructions will be sent directly from the closing attorney.
The following information is directly from the National Association of REALTORS® website:
- One of the fastest-growing cybercrimes in the U.S. is wire fraud in real estate. About 11,300 people were victims of wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2018 (a 17% increase over 2017), with losses of more than $150 million, according to FBI data.
- The highest reported fraud in real estate in 2017 was Business Email Compromise/Email Account Compromise (BEC/EAC.) Fraudsters will assume the identity of the title, real estate agent, or closing attorney and forge the person’s email and other details about the transaction. The scammers will then send an email to the unknowing buyer and provide new wire instructions to the criminal’s bank account.
- Based on victim complaint data, BEC/EAC scams targeting the real estate sector are on the rise. From the calendar year 2015 to the calendar year 2017, there was over an 1100% rise in the number of BEC/EAC victims reporting the real estate transaction angle and an almost 2200% rise in the reported monetary loss. May 2018 reported the highest number of BEC/EAC real estate victims since 2015, and September 2017 reported the highest victim loss.
- Never trust wiring instructions sent via email. Cybercriminals are hacking email accounts and sending emails with fake wiring instructions. These emails are convincing and sophisticated.
- Always independently confirm wiring instructions in person or via a telephone call to a trusted and verified phone number.
- Never wire money without double-checking that the wiring instructions are correct.