The Warning Signs of Wire Transfer Scams
Wire transfer scams are a particularly sophisticated form of phishing scam. These scams can seem very convincing, so it’s important to use caution and your best judgement. Familiarize yourself with the common warning signs of wire transfer scams so you know how to protect yourself.
How They Originate
Wire transfers are commonly associated with the home buying process, so we often see it target homebuyers as they near closing, but this scam appears in many other forms as well. The quick time for the payment to clear compared to ACH or check makes wire transfers especially attractive to fraudsters. Like other phishing scams, you may receive an email posing as communication from a legitimate source. In the case of a home sale, the email may appear to be from a realtor, insurance company, or title agency affiliated with the sale. Wire transfer requests can also target businesses by posing as a legitimate vendor they do business with. Or, they may target individuals by appearing to be from a business or individual you are familiar with.
How They Trick You
Included somewhere within the email will be a link that takes you to a site requesting a wire transfer to cover closing costs or title fees, resolve an invoice, etc. However, this is not a legitimate site. Do not click the link. A scammer has created a fake website mimicking the real company in an attempt to steal your information and money. The unfortunate thing about wire transfers is that once the transfer is made, it can be extremely difficult, sometimes even impossible, to reverse and get your funds back.
What You Can Do
Never click links, open attachments, download files, or share information in an email if you are not familiar with the sender. This is the simplest way you can avoid wire transfer scams or any other types of phishing scams. Furthermore, closely inspecting the email for errors will indicate that the wire transfer request is fraudulent. Looks for things like a suspicious email address and spelling and grammar mistakes, especially pertaining to the information of the company, such as a distorted logo.
If you do receive a request for a wire transfer and want to make sure it is legitimate, contact the company directly to confirm. Use the contact information you already have for them or what is listed on their legitimate website, not the information listed in the wire transfer request. If it is a fake request, it will also include fake information that will put you in contact with the scammer, not the legitimate business you are trying to contact.
Robins Financial Credit Union is committed to protecting the safety and security of our members. Keeping your accounts protected works even better when we have your help. We have tools in place that help you monitor and track your finances, so you’re never caught off guard. To learn more about how we protect our members every day and how you can protect yourself, visit the Security & Fraud Center on our website or give us a call.