How To Shield Your Investment From Mortgage Wire Fraud

If you’re in the process of purchasing a home in the Fort Wayne area, it’s just as important to make your digital spaces as secure as your physical ones. That’s because cybercriminals are targeting homeowners during the real estate purchasing process. At LANKEY I.T., we’re noticing that mortgage wire fraud is a pervasive issue that could potentially have long-lasting devastating effects with one click of a deceitful link. Today, let’s dig into this issue that’s plaguing the real estate industry and look at some cybersecurity solutions that can offer you real protection.

LANKEY IT Fort Wayne Mortgage Wire Fraud Cybersecurity

Identifying Mortgage Wire Fraud

How does mortgage wire fraud work? Cybercriminals trick homeowners into wiring money into false bank accounts during the real estate purchasing process. It starts subtly, usually from an email that seems legitimate. Its main aim, however, is to distract and misdirect you right when you’re about to close on a house.

Perpetrators of mortgage wire fraud are sophisticated and rely on tricking unsuspecting victims with carefully crafted strategies. There are some potential warning signs that can help you detect fraudulent activity. Here are two major red flags to look out for:

1. Suspiciously Similar Email Addresses or Phone Numbers

Cybercriminals often impersonate trusted figures in your real estate transaction, such as your agent or lender. To do this, they use emails or phone numbers that are strikingly similar to the real ones. These deceptive communications may appear genuine and even contain personal data that seems like it could only be known by your contacts. The reality, however, is that these scammers obtain this information through illicit means, such as phishing attacks sent to your agent’s email.

Don’t act on any email instructions regarding wiring money without confirmation from trusted sources. Even if they appear authentic, always reach out using familiar contact information to a trusted representative and confirm account details. Your lender should be able to validate the name, account number, and amount due without any prompting.

2. Unwarranted Sense of Urgency

Scammers like to incite a sense of anxiety and urgency to encourage quick action without a second thought. They may communicate sudden changes in banking procedures or claim that they made a mistake and provided incorrect information.

Always be suspicious of anyone who pushes for immediate action or money transfers, especially if this pressure comes via email. Remember, your real estate agent or lender will also have safety strategies in place and will not push for rash decisions.

Recommended Cybersecurity Measures

So, now that you know what to look out for, what can you do to protect yourself? Here are our six expert recommendations for helpful cybersecurity measures:

1. Use Two-Factor Authentication and a Professional Email Domain

Strengthen your email account’s security by enabling two-factor authentication. Moreover, a paid email domain like [email protected] signifies professionalism and builds an extra layer of security. Free email accounts like Gmail or AOL can be prone to security risks.

2. Enable Email Encryption and Spam Filters

Leverage strong spam filters to keep unwanted phishing emails at bay. Encrypting sensitive information adds another layer of protection to your communication and prevents it from falling into the wrong hands.

3. Install a Business-Level Antivirus

An enterprise-level antivirus solution for your devices is crucial. It continuously scans and shields your digital ecosystem from potentially harmful intrusions.

4. Separate Your Work and Personal Spaces

Use different devices for work and personal tasks, and keep your professional email separate from your personal one. This clear distinction reduces the risk of spillover and safeguards your sensitive data.

5. Create Unlicensed Admin Accounts for Suites

If you’re using platforms like Gmail for Business or Office 365, create an unlicensed, unrelated admin account. This helps keep your main admin account free from exposure and secure from potential threats.

6. Invest in Professional I.T. Support

If you want robust protection from cybercriminals, seek help from cybersecurity experts. Working with one of our I.T. professionals will not only offer an upgrade to your cyber defenses but will also provide you with helpful training and insights on maintaining your digital safety. We offer managed IT service plans to make it easy to find a solution that fits your particular digital needs.

When dreams of that perfect Fort Wayne home translate into financial transactions, you need more than just a good credit score; you need a solid cybersecurity plan. If you want a knowledgeable professional to protect you from cybersecurity threats, like mortgage wire fraud, LANKEY I.T. can help. Contact us at (260) 800-3850 or request a consultation online because safeguarding transactions isn’t just about securing finances—it’s about protecting your dreams for the future.

Araj, Victoria. “How to Beware of Mortgage Wire Fraud During Closing.” Web blog post. Rocket Mortgage. 25, Jan. 2024. Web. 14, Feb. 2024.