What is Wire Fraud?



Wire fraud is a federal crime involving electronic communications like telephones, cell phones or the internet.

Fraudulent wire transfers often start with spoofing or phishing.

What is...?

Spoofing can be defined as attempts to imitate something familiar to trick someone.

Phishing typically includes email communications whereby criminals pose as reputable persons or companies to obtain sensitive information from others; oftentimes, usernames and passwords.


Stay Alert!

Practicing simple detail checks can eliminate most wire fraud attempts. Be diligent and reduce this risk.
 
    • Check email addresses closely and make sure they are completely right.
      For example, @company.com can be easily spoofed to @conpany.com or @cmpany.com. Being busy is not an excuse. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the parties you are communicating with. Look closely at who the email is FROM. Is there an alias being used? Have you communicatedwith this person before? Are you expecting communication from them? Are there breaks in the email chain or missing replies?
    • Look for poor spelling and grammar.
      The body of the email could have odd spellings, poor grammar, awkward phrases, unusual tone, a receiving bank in an unusual country or missing elements like an email signature. Or an email signature that doesn’t match the sender of the email.
    • Always call your Title Company to verify wire information.
      Do not rely on blindly emailed wire instructions, even from parties you know. A responsible Title Agent will not forwardwire instructions to third parties, and assume those incredibly important details end up in the hands of the right party. Buyers and Borrowers should call the Title Agent while sitting at their computer, with their email open, and have the Title Agent email the wire detail. Confirm the detail while on the phone with the Title Agent. If an email shows up stating that the wire instructions have changed, DO NOT respond, this is likely a phishing attempt. Take the time to call, and remind your clients to do so, whenever things seem out of the ordinary. Better safe than sorry.
    • Make sure your Antivirus and Anti-Spam Software is up to date.
      These companies are constantly updating their software, patching any holes and blocking suspicious activity. Most software can be customized which would allow you to block certain domains, email senders etc.