As the real estate industry progressively continues to heat up and get more momentum, the same occurs with fraud and scams. I wanted to go back to a previous post publish by FirmRE.biz “Beware: Wire fraud on the rise“, where I wrote about the fast growing real estate transaction escrow scams and how hackers through “Spoofing” and ID theft like the event of “DocuSigns”; has really affected and continues to increase in the real estate industry.
Based on a report by Inman News, real estate escrow scams has increased to $969 million this year! from [$19 million in 2016]. This is a huge jump!
Escrow scams involve hackers gaining access to a title company’s or agent’s email account to track upcoming closings. Near the closing date, the scammer will pose as the title company or escrow agent and ask the buyer to wire the necessary funds to their account. After the transfer is complete, the scammer shuts down the fraudulent email address and disappears.
There are ways to protect your self, but the key point here is…. to always be careful! and take very simple steps to make sure your are communicating and receiving information from the correct source and not from a scammer or hacker performing [Spoofing]. And make sure if you are using an online service like, digital signature, online acceptance, etc… Its from a reputable company or companies, which have been in the business a long time or are backed by reputable corporations…
I encourage buyers to confirm every email they receive with a phone call. Real estate agents and title companies can reduce the risks of such scams through tech security training and implementing standard procedures. Like those recommended by company specializing in online and network security like MC-Networks Inc.