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How to Protect Yourself From Wire Fraud
When purchasing a home, buyers and agents will be handling substantial amounts of money and their transfer, and unfortunately, whenever large sums of money are changing hands, there is a risk of theft. According to a recent report from CertifID, a wire fraud protection company, suspected fraud affected 83% of their clients at least once in 2022. This report indicates that wire transactions are increasingly vulnerable, and this elevated risk aligns with the broader shift towards digital payments in recent years (x).
Given the growing reliance on online communication for business transactions, potential homebuyers must exercise caution and take the necessary steps to protect themselves from wire fraud. The first essential step in safeguarding oneself is being able to identify any attempts at fraud.
What is Wire Fraud
Wire fraud is a financial crime involving the use of electronic communication systems, such as email, phone, or social media, to deceive and obtain money or valuable assets from victims. Perpetrators often pose as legitimate entities, like banks or real estate professionals, and manipulate parties into transferring funds to fraudulent accounts. Wire fraud schemes can vary in complexity, from simple phishing attempts to elaborate scams involving multiple parties and transactions.
During a real estate transaction, Alex had been communicating with his attorney through email. One day, he received an email seemingly from his attorney, asking him to wire the funds directly and providing instructions for the transfer. Alex initially agreed but grew suspicious and decided to call the attorney's office to confirm the email's legitimacy. The office revealed they did not send the email, and upon closer examination, Alex noticed an extra dash in the sender's email address - it wasn't his attorney. Thankfully, his swift action averted the loss of his funds.
How does Ganek protect its clients?
The consequences of falling victim to wire fraud can be devastating, as victims can lose a significant amount of money and the funds are often difficult to recover once transferred.
Ganek PC understands these risks and takes robust measures to protect our clients. We make use of the secure platform CertifID, which offers real-time identity verification and secure communication.
How can I protect myself from wire fraud?
As Ganek clients, be aware of the following:
> Ganek will NEVER send wiring instructions via email. Our attorneys will not directly request money from clients through email; all transactions are conducted through CertifID .
> Parties should ONLY rely on the instructions received via CertifID's secure portal. These instructions will NEVER change.
Additionally, buyers and agents should always:
> Exercise caution with unsolicited emails or calls requesting personal information or fund transfers.
> Verify the instructions and email addresses before initiating a payment or transferring money.
> When in doubt, contact the company or individual directly to authenticate the request before proceeding with any transfer.
> Immediately report any suspected fraud attempts to your bank or financial institution.
Ganek PC takes the security of our clients' funds seriously. If you are ever concerned that a request may not be legitimate or receive wiring instructions outside of CertifID, please contact your Ganek representative immediately and do not process any funds.