Scam steals closing money by hacking agent, escrow email

  • Scammers are stealing homebuyers' money by hacking agent and escrow email accounts, monitoring transactions and mimicking official email.
  • Closing costs are being illegally diverted to hacker accounts.
  • The best way to avoid this fraud is to never email money transfer instructions to clients -- always call.

Imagine you’re a first-time homebuyer who gets an email from your real estate agent or the escrow or title agency. The email instructs you to wire your closing cost money — which sometimes includes your entire down payment — to a bank account, and the style of communication, signature and email address all belong to someone you know and trust.