Buying a home is one of the most complicated, expensive purchases American families make. The different players involved in real estate transactions open the door for potential fraud.
Michigan-based real estate agent, Stacey Robach and Sun Title company owner, Tom Cronkright, warn their customers about the risk of wire fraud during a transaction.
“We lost nearly $200,000 out of this office to a wire fraud scam, “ Cronkright said.
Hackers are known to set up fake email accounts, phone numbers, and websites to convince people they are involved in real estate transactions.
Using information a real estate agent, lender or title company might use, the emails look authentic.
The goal is to convince someone in the home buying process to wire earnest money or a down payment to the wrong person.
The FBI tracks real estate wire fraud under business email compromise complaints. In its 2021 report, there were nearly 20,000 complaints— with losses totaling $2.4 billion.
The FBI has a special team dedicated to recovering funds stolen through internet scams. The agency says it's critical for consumers to contact them as soon as possible so they can coordinate with banks to freeze funds.
Click here to file a complaint with the FBI.