How to Keep Yourself and Clients Safe from Wire Fraud


The National Association of REALTORS® has issued warnings to its members that hackers are trying to gain access to insecure email accounts and search inboxes for messages related to real estate transactions. The hackers then draft fake emails to buyers that appear to come from their real estate agent, title representative, or attorney, with instructions to wire down payment money to a fraudulent account. If the consumer sends the money, it usually becomes untraceable within minutes.

Wire Fraud Template for Email Signature

The following is an example of a notice you may wish to consider adding to your email signature line. This notice should not serve as a substitute for educating your clients and other participants in your real estate transactions about email wire fraud. For more information about best practices to avoid victimization by cyber criminals, see Protecting Your Business and Your Clients From Cyberfraud.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Never trust wiring instructions sent via email. Cyber criminals 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.