The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that more than $3.1 billion dollars has been stolen from victims of wire fraud schemes. Hackers are specifically targeting email accounts related to real estate transactions in order to divert funds to fraudulent bank accounts.
- NEVER RELY on emails purporting to change wire instructions. Parties to a transaction rarely change wire instructions during the course of a transaction.
- ALWAYS call a trusted number to verify wiring instructions prior to sending funds.
- DO NOT forward wire instructions to other parties without first verbally verifying the instructions with the sending party.
- USE COMPLEX EMAIL PASSWORDS that employ a combination of mixed case, numbers, and symbols. Make your passwords longer than eight (8) characters.
Also, change your password often and do NOT reuse the same password for other online accounts.
- USE MULTI-FACTOR AUTHENTICATION for email accounts. Your email provider or IT staff may have specific instructions on how to implement this feature.