By: Erin Auld


Realtors, Buyers and Sellers – be vigilant!  As a party to a real estate transaction, you may be targeted by fraudsters and you must be extra cautious to protect yourself!  Fraudsters can hack into your email account and they wait for big life events, such as buying a house, to strike.  You may not know they are in there until it is too late.  They will wait until closer to closing day and then will spoof your attorney or lender’s information to send you fake wiring instructions.  Why are we sending this?  We have now seen three buyers just this week who had their personal email accounts hacked and they received wiring instructions from a fraudster.  We know it was their personal account that was hacked by having the email forwarded to us from the buyers.  The email was originally sent to the buyers from an unknown address that was spoofed.  You could only tell it was fraud by actually looking at the specific email address, not the name of the person on the account.

How can you protect yourself?

  • ALWAYS look at the email address from the person sending you the email, not just their username.  You may have to hover over the email address to see the actual address.  There could be just one letter off of the address, so it will be hard to notice.
  • ALWAYS call your attorney’s office before closing to verify the wiring instructions.  Call a verified number from a Google search, not a number you got from email correspondence.  Better yet, come in person to get the wiring instructions!
  • Set up a new email address just for the house closing (ex. and flow all correspondence through that.  This way, if they already are in your personal email account they will not be able to spoof your closing information.
  • Set up 2FA on your email account.
  • Check your email forwarding settings.  Sometimes fraudsters will create a setting for items to be forwarded to them automatically.  You would never notice this until you look deep into your email settings.
  • Wiring instructions never change prior to closing so if you get any new instructions – BEWARE and call your attorney. 

Please spread the word so that everyone can be aware of ways to protect themselves!

With this knowledge, now you can rest easy!