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Voice of the consumer: Real estate wire fraud an epidemic

The Gazette

If you’re getting ready to buy a home or know someone who is, please, please warn them about the growing crime of real estate wire fraud. I just talked to a friend who is an Arizona Realtor. He told me what happened to a client who didn’t heed his warnings. She became a victim and almost lost $70,000. The message here is it’s all about verifying and communicating.

My friend Ron says his 70-year old client was so excited about the purchase of a home that she missed some obvious red flags. The client, whom we’ll call Ruth, was supposed to close on a property in September. It’s now November, and she lost out on the home purchase and has only recovered $50,000.

Ruth is lucky because she happened to tell Ron that she had wired funds. Ron was alarmed because he knew the title company had not sent the final settlement statement, and he wanted to double-check her instructions. That’s when they discovered she had been scammed. Had she waited just a few more hours she would have lost the entire amount with no hope of recovery.


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