hacker-1944688_1280 - CopyThe news these days is rife with stories about hacking, leaks, and stolen confidential information, and no one seems to be immune to the threat, as demonstrated by the recent reports of hackings perpetrated on Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

While those examples may seem far from home for most of us, there are stories throughout the country of hackers stealing the money people are intending to use to purchase their homes.

The ploy hackers often use is to hack someone’s email, which allows them to intercept wire instructions. They then modify the wire instructions in transit so that the money is eventually wired to the hacker’s account.

So how do you minimize the chance of losing the money you saved to buy your dream house?

While hand-delivery of handwritten wire instructions might be the safest route, in today’s fast-paced world, that option just isn’t feasible in most instances. For those instances when the Pony Express just isn’t fast enough to meet your closing deadline, adhering to the following four steps will minimize your risk of losing your hard earned money:

  • Step 1: Never trust electronically transmitted wire instructions just because they were sent by someone trustworthy, such as your lender or attorney.
  • Step 2: Establish a relationship with a person at your lender’s and your attorney’s office. You will want to know their name, phone number, and be familiar with the sound of their voice.
  • Step 3: Once you have the phone number for your contacts at that office, do not accept a new phone number from an email or another electronic transmission.
  • Step 4: When either the lender or the attorney/closing agent sends you wire instructions via email, call the person you have established a relationship with and ask them to verbally confirm the instructions.

We hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions, please contact me at michael.lehnert@henlaw.com or by phone at 239-344-1184. Stay safe.