The Dos and Don’ts of Real Estate Wire Transfer Safety

When it comes to real estate transactions, wire transfers have become a common method for transferring large amounts of money. This process, while convenient, can be fraught with risks if not handled correctly. As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated, it is crucial to adhere to best practices to safeguard your funds. Here, we outline the dos and don’ts of real estate wire transfer safety to help ensure your transaction proceeds smoothly and securely.

The Dos

1. Verify All Contact Information

Before you initiate any wire transfer, it’s essential to confirm that the contact details of all parties involved are accurate. This includes phone numbers, email addresses, and even physical addresses. Fraudsters often use subtle variations in email addresses to impersonate legitimate parties. Always double-check for any discrepancies.

2. Use Secure Communication Channels

Ensure that all communications related to the wire transfer are conducted through secure channels. Avoid using public Wi-Fi networks to access your email or financial information. Instead, use a secure, private network. Encryption tools and secure messaging apps can also add an extra layer of protection.

3. Confirm Wire Instructions Over the Phone

One of the most crucial steps is to verify wire instructions verbally with the receiving party. Independently obtain the phone number by looking it up through reliable sources rather than relying on contact information provided in an email. Call the recipient directly to confirm the bank details before proceeding with the transfer.

4. Monitor Your Email Account

Regularly monitor your email account for any suspicious activity. Be on the lookout for unexpected emails or notifications about changes in wire instructions. If you notice anything unusual, contact your lendor or real estate agent immediately.

5. Use Multi-Factor Authentication

Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) on your email accounts and any platforms you use for financial transactions. MFA requires you to provide two or more verification factors to gain access and significantly enhances the security of your accounts.

6. Keep Software Updated

Ensure that your computer’s operating system, antivirus software, and any applications you use are up to date. Software updates often include security patches that protect you against the latest threats.

The Don’ts

1. Don’t Act on Last-Minute Changes

If you receive an email at the last minute notifying you of changes to the wire transfer instructions, proceed with caution. This is a classic tactic used by fraudsters. Always verify any changes with a trusted source before taking any action.

2. Don’t Share Sensitive Information Over Email

Never send sensitive information like your bank account number, social security number, or passwords through email. Even if the email appears legitimate, it could be intercepted by cybercriminals. Use encrypted methods or secure file-sharing services for such communications.

3. Don’t Click on Unknown Links or Download Attachments

Phishing emails often contain malicious links or attachments designed to steal your personal information. Avoid clicking on any links or downloading attachments from unknown or unverified sources. If in doubt, contact the sender to verify the legitimacy of the email.

4. Don’t Rely Solely on Email for Wire Transfer Instructions

Emails can be easily spoofed or intercepted. It’s important not to rely solely on email for receiving wire transfer instructions. Always use phone verification as an additional measure of security.

5. Don’t Ignore Security Alerts

If your email provider or financial institution sends you a security alert, don’t ignore it. These alerts are designed to warn you about potential threats. Follow the recommended actions to secure your account immediately.


Wire transfers in real estate transactions are a modern convenience that, with the right precautions, can be executed safely. By adhering to these dos and don’ts, you can significantly reduce the risk of becoming a victim of wire fraud. Remember, when it comes to safeguarding your hard-earned money, it pays to be vigilant. Make a habit of implementing these best practices to ensure a secure and seamless real estate transaction experience.

Emily Thompson