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Wire Fraud Prevention for Commercial Real Estate

While wire fraud started out as a significant threat in residential real estate transactions, the fraudsters now increasingly target commercial transactions and the parties involved in commercial real estate deals.

Here are ways to help prevent such fraud:

1. Always carefully examine the email address from which you receive updates on your transaction from your broker, attorney, escrow officer or settlement agent to verify it is correct. If an email seems suspicious, notify your attorney or settlement agent immediately. You want to be able to tell that this is the correct method.

2. Call instead of email. But, be sure to use the phone number on the broker, attorney, escrow officer or settlement agent’s official website or business card. Don't trust the phone number included in the email.

3. Be suspicious of any requested change to wiring instructions. It's highly unusual for your title or escrow company to request any last-minute changes.

4. Confirm the account before sending. Ask your bank to verify the account information before sending funds via a wire transfer.

5. Verify funds immediately. Call your title or escrow company to verify the funds have been received

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