Wire transfer fraud is a growing epidemic of its own. Wire transfers are attractive to criminals because they’re almost impossible to recover given their immediate payment and final settlement nature. They’re especially common during real estate transactions because they involve large sums of money, whether a new home purchase or a refinance.
Criminals use techniques such as phishing to trick you into clicking on links or inputting your personal identifiable information. They then wait for a transaction to occur and bait you into a wire transfer. Others will pose as someone whom would have gained your trust – an attorney, a government agency, etc. – and exploit that trust to persuade you to engage in a wire transfer.
Make sure you don’t become a victim by:
- Limiting your personal information that you make available publicly.
- Being leery of someone who expresses an urgent request to transfer funds.
- Verifying the source of wire transfer requests and instructions via phone or in person.
- NEVER emailing financial information. It’s easy to intercept.
- Following cybersecurity basics:
- Don’t click on suspicious links
- Keep your security software up to date
- Use a strong spam filter
- Rather than following links someone sends you to conduct transactions, go directly to the website
If you do find yourself the victim of wire fraud, the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) is your best ally. You can file a complaint at Internet Crime Complaint Center(IC3) | File a Complaint.
Reviewed July 2023.
Written by: Sarah Nicholas
Sarah is the Director of Communications for Serendipity Communications. She lives in Plainwell, Michigan with her husband, daughters and stepson, with twin stepdaughters nearby. She is passionate about cyber safety education and animal rights and enjoys ballet dancing, reading and volunteering at her children’s school.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
Ameris Bank is not affiliated with nor endorses any of the companies featured in this article.