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Be Wary of Email Wire Transfer Instructions

Anthony T. Ballato, Esq

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Sophisticated scammers are known to hack into emails of attorneys, bankers, realtors and others involved in substantial transactions and send fake emails to buyers or sellers with wire transfer instructions for the fraudsters rather than the escrow agents. Awful outcomes involve victims wiring large sums of money to criminals in other states or countries rather than to the proper parties, thus losing their deposit or closing  funds and perhaps the ability to close the contract to buy or sell property. Often wired funds cannot be recalled or reversed and the fraudsters never found or prosecuted.

Before wiring any funds, you should call (not email) your attorney or other known party to first confirm that the wire instructions are legitimate and that the bank information is correct. Otherwise, you may suffer a total loss. Even sophisticated business people like Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran lost a reported $400,000.00 due to an email phishing scam.