Wire fraud continues to be a serious and prevalent issue in real estate transactions. This short and informative video from the American Land Title Association (ALTA) provides some very good tips to consumers, but the simple message to be taken away is that emails cannot be trusted.
Before wiring any money, call to verify the wiring instructions using contact information found from an independent source, such as the sales contract, your contacts, or the internet. Hacked email can contain misleading phone numbers. Never rely on email for contact information and pay close attention to the email properties (such as variations of domain names, different “reply to” email addresses, etc.) If you are communicating with a client you are friendly with, and the conversion turns less personable, be suspicious. Be vigilant and stay paranoid.