Realtor Closing Fee Scam

What is a Realtor Closing Fee scam?

A realtor closing fee scam, also known as a mortgage closing scam or wire fraud in real estate, targets individuals who are in the process of buying a home. As the closing date approaches, the scammer, who often poses as the real estate agent, lawyer, or another trusted party involved in the transaction, sends a fraudulent email to the buyer. This email appears legitimate, complete with company logos and professional language, and it instructs the buyer to wire the closing costs directly to a specified account, which actually belongs to the scammer.

Once the money is sent, it is quickly withdrawn or transferred by the scammer, making recovery difficult.

How can you stay safe?

Always, and I mean always, verify with the realtor over the phone before sending any wire transfer over. Do not call any number provided to you over email, text, or phone communications that has been submitted to you last minute. Always use the number provided to you during your first physical interaction. Do not expect your realtor to make any changes minutes or days prior to the transfer.

Make sure to verify payment instructions directly with your real estate agent or closing attorney via a verified phone number, especially if last-minute changes to payment procedures are communicated. Be skeptical of any emails requesting urgent wire transfers and always double-check the sender’s email address for slight changes that might indicate fraud. 

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Warded Editorial Team

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