The Power of Cyber-Criminals

by | May 18, 2022

Is wire fraud real? Unequivocally, the answer is YES! I have experienced it first-hand. The last thing I want is for any of my buyer clients to lose their wire transferred funds to criminals. And the last thing I want for any of my seller clients is to experience the cancellation of escrow because the buyer is unable to fund. This experience is a horror in the 10th degree!

Real estate wire fraud continues to be one of the most prevalent cyber-crimes in the US. About 13,638 people were victims of wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2020, a 17% increase over 2019, with losses of more than 213 million, according to FBI data. Don’t think to yourself, “It won’t happen to me.” Guess what? It could!

How do buyers protect themselves from wire fraud? Hookele Title, the Coldwell Banker Island Properties affiliate partner, recommends:

  • Call escrow BEFORE sending your funds. Only use the phone number you were initially given by escrow, never a number from a future email that indicates there has been a change.
  • Call your bank after talking with escrow to confirm it has the correct information.
  • Call escrow AFTER you send your funds to ensure that the funds were received.
  • Call escrow if you are SUSPICIOUS of an email, call or text you receive that asks you to change any part of your wiring instructions.

Don’t be a victim! If you receive an email requesting a wire transfer to a different account than the original account provided by escrow, or you realize you have transferred funds to what may be a bogus account STOP and immediately contact your escrow officer and Realtor®. Time is of the essence, and seconds can count when trying to retrieve your funds.

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Jen McGeehan

JEN MCGEEHAN, RS-80881
Phone: 808.747.2365
[email protected]

I am an adventurer by heart, never letting too much dust settle under my feet. But, I am also a nester, a woman who loves her home, garden, animals, family, and whatever career I happen to be in. In my latest adventure, I’ve successfully merged over 46 years of varied work and life experience into a real estate career that focuses on the goals and dreams of my clients. Are you interested in moving to the Big Island of Hawaiʻi? I’d love to talk with you about your dream goal, and help you achieve it!

Integrity is the cornerstone of my business! 

Coldwell Banker | Island Properties

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