In the example given of a recent scenario, the seller had a Yahoo email that she used to send wire instructions to her real estate agent. The email account was hacked, and a few days later, another email was sent with different (fraudulent) wire instructions. While the fraudulent instructions appeared to come from the seller's Yahoo account, the account had one letter dropped from the seller's real account.
Believing she was corresponding with the seller, the real estate agent told the hacker to send the wire instructions to the purchaser's settlement agent.
Fortunately, several items in the email and the wire instructions notified the settlement agent to this fraud. For example, the email had typos and poor English grammar. Also, the fraudster made the absurd statement that the previously sent (good) wire instructions could not be used because the receiving account had "reached its TAX-FREE limit for receiving transfer and therefore they will incur huge taxation of about 40% of any deposit."
Please stay alert to this form of email hacking and fraudulent wire instructions, and please share this scam with others in the real estate community.
Contact me at 434-951-0858 or Tucker@TGBLaw.com if you have questions.
William D. Tucker, III
Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C.