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Houston Realtors Warn about Homebuyers Wire Fraud

Cases of real estate wire fraud have been on the rise.

This FBI chart shows the number of wire fraud victims in the home sales market from January 2015 to May 2018.

Imagine you’re just about to close on your dream house when you receive an email from what you think is your title company and it instructs you to wire them your down payment.

Only, the money doesn’t go to their bank, but to some overseas account and may never be recovered.

Cases like this have been on the rise since at least 2015, according to the FBI.

That’s why Realtors are making an effort to warn their customers.

“If you are not able to verify by phone with that title company exactly what your wiring instructions are, then make a trip to that office and speak to someone face-to-face to understand exactly where those funds need to go,” Houston Association of Realtors (HAR) chair Kenya Burrell said.

HAR is also asking real estate companies to make sure their cyber security systems are up to date to avoid being hacked.

Victims of wire fraud should immediately notify their bank to request a recall of the funds.

They should also file a complaint with the FBI.

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Florian Martin

Florian Martin

Business Reporter

Florian Martin is currently the News 88.7 business reporter. Florian’s stories can frequently be heard on other public radio stations throughout Texas and on NPR nationwide. Some of them have earned him awards from Texas AP Broadcasters and the Houston Press Club. Florian is a native of Germany. His studies...

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