Consumers have a lot to think about when they’re buying a home, including wiring large sums of money, and protecting themselves from fraudsters might be the last thing on their mind. The National Association of Realtors® and the Federal Trade Commission are encouraging consumers to stay vigilant, while reminding victims that they have options.

The most common wire scam works like this: hackers break into an email account of someone involved in the transaction. With that information in hand, they send a fraudulent email to the buyer, posing as a real estate professional.

The scammer then sends fraudulent wire transfer instructions to the buyer, allowing the criminal to potentially steal a down payment or other funds if the buyer follows through.

That’s bad news for the consumer, but NAR and the FTC are offering some tips on what to do when scammers strike. Among them:

  • “If you wired money through your bank, ask them right away for a wire recall. If you used a money transfer company, like Western Union or MoneyGram, call their complaint lines immediately.”
  • “Report your experience to the FTC and to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at Report as soon as you can and give as much information as you can. If your bank asks for a police report, give them a copy of your report to”

The key is to act quickly, or home buyers might find themselves out of luck. Additional tips on staying safe from mortgage fraud are available from NAR and the FTC.

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Source: Newsline

Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission.

This Article Appears Courtesy of Steven Diadoo

Steven Diadoo, Licensed Realtor in MN with BRIDGE REALTY and best-selling author of 'Road to Success' with Jack Canfield (Chicken Soup for the Soul), Board Member at Bowling for Brains Non-Profit 501(c)3 (Event to benefit the American Brain Tumor Association), licensed Realtor with Bridge Realty, Seen on DIY TV, Create Channel and PBS. For help buying and/or selling a house, please call (952) 270-6141 or Click here.