Wire fraud is a fast-growing form of cybercrime that’s wreaked havoc for homebuyers in recent years. But what is wire fraud?
Wire fraud is a scam that targets buyers while making payments, primarily during the home buying process. Cybercriminals take advantage of the fact that many people are involved in real estate transactions and find ways to steal your money or personal financial information to use fraudulently. In most cases, they pose as one of the parties in your mortgage transaction and try to trick you into providing personal financial information, usually by email, phone, or text. So it’s critical for you to:
- Understand the mortgage closing process and all the players involved in your transaction.
- Record the contact information of all parties involved.
- Call to confirm any wiring instructions you receive during the closing process of your loan.
But beyond specifically protecting yourself during your mortgage transaction, you can do the following to avoid being a victim of wire fraud:
- Monitor your accounts regularly using online or mobile banking and set up account alerts to let you know when money enters or leaves each account you own.
- Use multifactor authentication options when available to add another layer of defense for your online information.
- Change your passwords regularly, create unique passwords (so they aren’t recognizable), and use different passwords for each online account you use.
- Verify every wire request by calling the recipient to ensure you’re sending money to the correct party and don’t accept wiring instruction changes.
The cyber attacker is smart, but you’re smarter.
Always trust your instincts when it comes to wire fraud. For instance, if you receive any emails or phone calls that make you feel uncomfortable, don’t complete the transaction. And, if something doesn’t feel right, reach out to your contact to confirm the transaction before you complete it.
What to do if you fall victim to wire fraud
If you fall victim to wire fraud, the most important thing to do is stay calm and trust your bank and other agencies to help you. For example, if you are a victim of wire fraud and your Quail Creek Bank account is impacted, let us know immediately about your situation so we can help you rectify your problem.
Additionally, report any wire fraud to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center. Be prepared to provide as much information as you can gather from the incident.
IMPORTANT: If you’ve been a victim of wire fraud, or any other type of fraudulent activity involving one of your Quail Creek Bank accounts, contact us immediately at 405-755-1000.