Never trust wiring instructions via email
Criminals/hackers are targeting email accounts of various parties involved in real estate transactions (e.g., lawyers, title agents, mortgage brokers, real estate agents). These emails are convincing and sophisticated. Among other concerns, this has led to fraudulent wiring instructions being used to divert funds to the criminal’s bank account. These emails may look like legitimate emails from the proper party. If you receive an email regarding instructions that contains any suspicious information, do not click on any links that may be in the email and do not reply.
Broker strongly recommends that Buyer, Seller, and their respective attorneys and others working on a transaction, refrain from placing any sensitive personal and financial information in an email, directly or through an email attachment. When there is a need to share Social Security numbers, bank accounts, credit card numbers, wiring instructions or similar sensitive information, Broker strongly recommends using more secure means, such as providing the information in person, over the phone, or through secure mail or package services, whenever possible. In addition, before Buyer or Seller wires any funds to any party (including Buyer or Seller’s attorney, title agent, mortgage broker, or real estate broker) personally call them to confirm the information is legitimate (i.e., confirm the ABA routing number or SWIFT code and credit account number). Buyer and Seller should call them at a number that is independently obtained (e.g., from this Contract, the recipient’s website, etc.) and not use the number in the email in order to be sure that the contact is a legitimate party.