The problem is so widespread that the California Association of Realtors now requires its agents to provide the following printed warning on every real estate contract:
HACKERS ARE FINDING OPENINGS IN TITLE COMPANIES’ OR REALTORS’ EMAIL ACCOUNTS TO TRACK UPCOMING PURCHASES .
WHAT YOU CAN DO The bottom line is to exercise abundant, even excessive caution when engaging in a large financial transaction of any kind. A home purchase involves putting every one of your personal financial details on the table, so you’re always at risk at every step of the way. When I buy real estate, I get a cashier’s check from my bank and drive it directly to the title office. The $5 check fee and a little gas are safer for me than any wire transaction would be. DO NOT EVER WIRE OR ELECTRONICALLY TRANSFER FUNDS PRIOR TO CALLING TO CONFIRM THE TRANSFER INSTRUCTIONS. ONLY USE A PHONE NUMBER YOU WERE PROVIDED PREVIOUSLY. The Denver couple has hired an attorney to sue their title agency, real estate agency, and mortgage lender for negligence and other transgressions, under a little-known caveat known as the Financial Fraud Kill Chain. Under this rule, the FBI may be able to stop a transfer and recover lost funds exceeding $50,000 if the transfer is sent internationally, the bank issues a recall notice, and the FBI is alerted within 72 hours.
GARRETT SUTTON Attorney, Best-Selling Author, and Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad’s Advisor
Corporate Direct (800) 600-1760
Garrett Sutton is an attorney and author. He has written a number of books for entrepreneurs and real estate investors, including Loopholes of Real Estate and Start Your Own Corporation. His newest book, Veil Not Fail, deals with the most overlooked facet of asset protection, protecting the corporate veil against legal attacks. Garrett’s firm, Corporate Direct, sets up and maintains LLCs and corporations in all 50 states. For a free 15-minute consultation with an incorporating specialist on these issues, visit https://corporatedirect.com/schedule/.
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