Disclaimer to everyone who wanted to read about sex… this article is only about wire fraud (and a reference to an email scam) – sorry to disappoint. How else would I get you to read about wire fraud?
You’ve either received an email or heard the more recent joke about the Nigerian apartment that got raided, where they found $43M? The joke is, “Dang, I should have responded to those emails!” If you don’t get the joke, scam emails have been floating around for decades from all sorts of foreign diplomats, officials, and surviving spouses, etc., letting you know that they will transfer all of the unclaimed money in to your bank account if you only pay the taxes, or a fee, or give them your account information, etc. The sad part, many people, I’ve read, fall for this and have responded to this scam, and maybe have lost a lot of money.
If you’ve bought or sold a house lately, or are an agent you know that there is now a mandatory disclosure included in with the purchase contract entitled, “Wire Fraud and Electronic Funds Transfer Disclosure.” Yeah, I know, boring stuff that many just gloss over saying, “yeah, yeah, yeah, there are people out there that try to steal money electronically… I won’t fall for that scam!”
CASE IN POINT
I just had a client that almost lost $400,000! They were about to wire money for the purchase of a home and received an email confirming where to send it. They thought that it was strange that it was a 3rd party and decided to double check with the title company. The title company had not sent out instructions yet and adamantly told them not to send the money! This was a scam! In addition, if they would have sent the money, they would have lost it, as there is no recourse once it leaves the account (according to the title company). After hearing this from my client, I quickly realized how serious this warning and disclosure has become!
Please beware and be careful when sending financial information via the internet, or text for that matter. Please read the advisory disclosure carefully and take heed.
Let me know if you or your clients have had any “scares” or run-in with this too.
Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker – 916.595.7900
Specializing in Residential Real Estate Sales and Property Management