Over the last year or so, wire fraud has become a major issue in the area of real estate closing transactions. Most title companies now insist on calling the prospective recipients of a wire to verify the information sent to the title company by the recipients.
However, title companies are not the only party in the transaction subject to wire fraud. Recently, a buyer in a real estate closing received an e-mail that they thought was from the title company providing them with wiring instructions so the purchase money proceeds could be sent to the title company. Unfortunately, the e-mail was not from the title company. Someone found out about the transaction, found a name of an employee at the title company and used that name in the e-mail.
When the buyer came to closing, it was then determined that the buyer's wire in fact wasn't sent to the title company but to some unknown third party, who had committed fraud.
The lesson learned is if you are a party preparing to send a wire to another party, you must perform your due diligence and verify you have the correct wiring instructions. Otherwise, your life savings may be taken from you.