The Dangers of Wire Fraud

Protect Yourself and Your Assets

Buying or selling a home is a life-changing event, and it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of it all. However, regardless of where you are in the process, it's important to be aware of any potential scams you could encounter along the way. Wire fraud is one of the scariest crimes affecting the real estate industry today—and its devastating consequences are often irreversible.

Looking for more information on how to stay protected during a transaction? When you work with Cielo Realty, we'll make every effort to keep you informed and protect your private information. If you want to learn a bit more about wire fraud, here are all the details you should know. 

What is Wire Fraud?

Even if you're familiar with wire fraud, it's important to learn how it might affect your closing process. In the world of real estate, this scam involves someone posing as a person you trust and requesting large amounts of money via a wire transfer, which is often how buyers pay for their home at closing.

Wire transfers are almost always irreversible, and if you accidentally send money to a fraudster, you won't be able to pay for your new place. Billions of dollars have been lost to wire fraud over the last few years, but there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your assets.

Red Flags to Watch Out For


Sudden Changes

Before you begin the closing process, your real estate agent and attorney will give you specific instructions on how to handle your wire transfer. Hackers can breach the email account of someone you trust and send a message requesting last minute wiring changes, such as a new routing number or transfer recipient. Be sure to contact your agent via phone if anything changes—there's no such thing as being too cautious.

Unfamiliar Numbers & Emails

We all like to think we wouldn't fall for a spam email, but scammers are getting even better at imitating agents, attorneys, and lenders. However, you can usually still tell if something isn't quite right by taking a closer look at the message. Was it sent from an unfamiliar address? Are there obvious grammar mistakes? Are important phone and routing numbers different than before? If so, you may want to verbally reach out to your agent.


Lack of Communication

So many buyers get caught up in the urgency of the closing process, which makes it easy for fraudsters to swoop in and take advantage of them. If you receive an email from your "agent" saying you need to send a rush transfer right away without verbal confirmation, it's probably a scam. Remember, it's always best to contact your agent via phone or meet in person to verify that it's really them.

Go With Your Gut

When in doubt, it's always best to go with your gut if you think something's up. It's crucial to double check all the written communication that goes into buying and selling your home—and be sure to ask plenty of questions along the way. After all, when you're dealing with some of your biggest assets, you'll want to make sure things go smoothly.  


Getting Ready to Buy?

Looking for a team that will help you navigate the ins and outs of buying a home in Western North Carolina? That's where we come in! Cielo Real Estate is dedicated to keeping you safe every step of the way. For more information on wire transfers and potential real estate scams, just reach out to us at any time. We're always available via phone or email!

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