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Friday, November 4, 2022   /   by Jake Uriegas


As our reliance on technology grows, cybersecurity is becoming more critical.  

Last year, after a series of major cyberattacks, the White House issued an executive order declaring cybersecurity a national priority. In 2021, the FBI reported that cybercrimes caused more than $350 million dollars of loss in the real estate sector. This represents more than a 64% increase from 2020. 

Many of these losses were caused by wire fraud. 

This is a major concern in real estate.


With real estate transactions typically involving large financial transactions, real estate is an attractive target for cybercriminals to steal large sums of money. 

Wire fraud usually involves a cybercriminal compromising a business or personal email account and sending the buyer or another party, at the last minute, convincing yet fraudulent instructions to wire money to the wrong account.  

According to the FBI these schemes are evolving.  
For instance:

  • Cybercriminals are now exploiting virtual meeting platforms.  
  • The hackers will break into an executive’s email account and invite an employee to a virtual meeting. 
  • The fraudster will use a still picture, claim to have audio and video issues, and then direct the employee to initiate a fraudulent wire transfer.  


Falling for a wire fraud scheme can be a costly mistake.

As you can see, wire fraud is a constant threat in causing significant financial and reputational damage.

Consider these best practices to protect yourself from wire fraud schemes:

  1. Educate yourself before the transaction. Ask me questions and for some tips to avoid it.
  2. Always verify wire instructions either in person or through a call to a trusted phone number.
  3. Practice email hygiene, using strong passwords and monitoring for suspicious activity.
  4. Lenders and title companies usually have a wire fraud notice in their email signature. Look for it.

And if all else fails, ask me and I can easily check with everyone involved in the transaction to verify the wire transfer.



Source: National Association of REALTORS®

Photo by Anete Lusina