Real Estate Wire Fraudsters Arrested

Federal authorities announced Monday that an investigation resulted in 74 arrests of people in the U.S. and overseas who allegedly took part in schemes to intercept wire transfers from businesses and individuals, including in real estate transactions. Federal authorities seized nearly $2.4 million and recovered about $14 million in fraudulent wire transfers.

One way it works is a hacker pretends to be a real estate professional, gains access to the person’s email account, and requests that real estate buyers wire their funds unknowingly to fraudulent accounts. Two years ago, the National Association of REALTORS® and the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning to real estate professionals and consumers that scammers were attempting to pose as real estate professionals and title insurance companies to try to dupe them out of their down payment and closing costs.


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