Wire fraud looks like this…

What time is this set to close and fund today? Please advise.
Sent from my iphone

Can the seller possibly have the sale proceeds wired to his wellsfargo account? Please advise.
Sent from my iphone

A hacker took a name of one of the parties involved in the pre-closing communications between title co, lender, real estate agents, and buyer.  The criminal used the innocent closing assistant’s name and attached it to a peculiar, but legitimate looking email.  The title company’s fraud protection procedures, and the alert real estate team foiled this scam.  At risk? Seller proceeds in the tens of thousands of dollars. 

Real estate agents are especially susceptible to this crime. The nature of our business is one where exceeding expectations is a goal, and over delivering is typical. What we do to exceed expectations and provide value added service for our clients is a double edge sword. The actions which impress a client today can be the same actions which draw us into post closing legal disputes.  

Every effort we contribute which is outside of our license is the sharper edge of that sword. Until recently licensees were quick to jump in and facilitate the wire transfer instructions for the convenience of the Seller or Buyer.  Proving no good turn goes unpunished, well meaning licensees and firms have paid immense consequences for doing no more than facilitating the transfer of information. Or so they thought. 

Take a look at nine of the highest dollar wire frauds from 2017.
Just in case we think we might be too smart to be scammed this way,  one of the largest (over a million dollars) losses was suffered by a New York State Supreme Court Justice. Think again…and leave the non real estate work to others. We’ve got enough to do without doing the work we are not licensed to do.

Author: Tom Meyer, Owner-Broker, Essential Real Estate, LLC Madison, WI

The real estate transaction, disclosure, and confidentiality are the business of a Wisconsin licensee. It's in the transaction where the skill of the licensee, and their commitment to the law where the public is protected or placed at risk. Essential real estate services are specified in real estate license law. Those services are worth professional fees. Paying professional fee rates for administrative services is a choice when an alternative exists. We are that alternative. Old business model commission rates are taxing the home equity of American home sellers. Essential Real Estate LLC was created so our clients keep more of their home equity, spend less on broker fees, and receive skilled representation in negotiating purchase agreements.

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