Four Steps You Need to Take to Protect Your Clients From Wire Fraud

fraud_sliderAs KTVB recently reported, a local family was scammed out of $80,000 down payment in a wire fraud scheme in which their agent’s email was hacked, and fraudulent wire instructions were sent to the buyer. Now that the money has been wired, it’s unlikely that it will be recovered.

Wire fraud and cybercrime is a very serious issue and one that isn’t going away any time soon. Don’t let your clients become victims, take these four steps TODAY to protect your clients and yourself.

1) Inform your clients that you will NEVER share wire instructions over email, but only verbally over the phone or in person. Educate them about the risks, and insist they call you (using the phone number you provided, not one from a suspicious email) if they receive instructions via email, or if anything feels “off.”

2) Use an email service that provides two-factor authentication and make sure it’s enabled.

3) Change your email password and make sure it’s a strong password. Set up a calendar reminder to change your email password regularly, and then follow through.

4) Add a standard warning about wire scams to your email signature or include a disclaimer at the bottom of your emails explaining that you will not discuss personal financial information over email. (Sample from NAR.) Here’s another example: ALERT! [Brokerage Name] will never send you wiring information via email or request that you send us personal financial information by email. If you receive an email message like this concerning any transaction involving [Brokerage Name], do not respond to the email and immediately contact your agent via phone.

Additional tips and resources: