Anytime financial decisions are in the mix, so is personal information. Unfortunately, in today’s society we see more and more fraudulent activity when it comes to that personal information.
Wire fraud or phishing scam emails are becoming more common in emails that are directed to people buying and selling homes. You should always be cautious when opening emails and never respond to any that ask for personal and financial information. Your lender should be asking those kinds of questions in a secure email setting, in person, or over the phone so that you can be sure that you are giving out information to the correct person.
If you receive an email from your lender or your agent asking for sensitive information you should be sure to verify that the source of the email is legitimate. Hackers gain access to email addresses and then send you emails requesting information. It may appear at first glance that the email is from your agent or your lender and so you are inclined to provide the information. However, the information then goes to the hacker who can then use your information to steal money, or worse, your identity.
When it comes to wiring fraud, the email may tell you that there are new wiring instructions for a down payment or such and it will tell you where to send the money. Once that money is sent off it’s lost, it’s in the hands of the hacker and it could be near impossible to trace.
A good way to protect yourself from potential fraud is to discuss with your agent at the very beginning what kind of information you are comfortable discussing over email vs. what you would prefer to be handled in person or over the phone. That way, if an email comes through to you that looks like it could have come from your agent you know to check with your agent before sending anything.
Another way to protect from wire fraud or phishing is to simply give your agent a call to verify the directions. Your agent or lender will be able to tell you immediately if the email is legitimate or if you need to delete and ignore it.
We want to assure you that all of us here at Jamison Company know that when you work with us you are placing a great deal of trust in us and we take that seriously. We will always treat your personal information with the utmost of care.