Monarch Title graphic promoting two-factor authentication

Reduce the Risk of Wire Fraud

How two-factor authentication can make your transactions more secure.

Wire fraud in real estate is sadly a common occurrence that can ruin the lives of victims who lose their entire savings in these scams. It often begins when a criminal hacks into an email and learns information about upcoming real estate transactions. The criminal can figure out when a closing will occur by keeping tabs on the communication.

The criminal will pose as someone involved in the home buying process, such as an escrow agent, real estate agent, or loan officer, and ask them for a down payment or other financial obligation that is needed for closing. The email would include instructions for wiring funds to an overseas bank account where it is out of U.S. law enforcement’s jurisdiction. 

Luckily, there is an easy way to avoid falling victim to these scams — preventing it in the first place with two-factor authentication. With two-factor authentication, it is exponentially harder for criminals to hack into vulnerable communication lines and wreak havoc on your home buying process. 

Two-factor authentication creates a second layer of security. A good example of two-factor authentication is a debit card. To take money out of your account, you need both the physical card and the PIN. Having just one of these pieces is not enough. 

All parties involved in your home transaction should enable two-factor authentication. This process is very simple to set-up on any email, and from any point after set-up, the user must enter a unique code to gain entry to the account. Each time someone tries to log in to the email account, a new unique code will be sent by text message or phone call to the phone number of your choice. It may seem like a hassle to get into your email, but it increases the security to your account exponentially!

Even if the username and password of an email account are unknowingly compromised, no one will be able to access the email account unless they can also gain access to your specific phone to see the unique code. Often, this code expires after a short duration of time in case you are not the one trying to access your account.

There’s no such thing as being too cautious when it comes to purchasing your dream home. The experienced team at Monarch is always available to answer your questions and ensure your transaction is securely completed. When in doubt, make sure to call your agent directly!