Protect Your Real Estate Transaction

Buying and selling a home is an exciting time, but there can be pitfalls for unsuspecting consumers. Be aware that cyber criminals may be scheming to steal your personal information and your money.

When you buy a home, you'll be required to submit personal information to your lender and/or settlement or escrow agent. This information may include social security numbers, bank account numbers and credit and loan account numbers. Unfortunately, would-be fraudsters sometimes attempt to steal personal information and even money through real estate transactions.

Protect Your Personal Information

Safeguard your personal information to protect your transaction and your identity from online criminals.

Protect Your Money From Wire Fraud

This video from the American Land Title Association highlights tips to protect your money and advice for what to do if you've been targeted by a scam.

5 Tips to Protect Yourself

  1. Always carefully examine the email address from which you receive updates on your transaction from your real estate agent, escrow officer or settlement agent to verify it is correct. If an email seems suspicious, notify your real estate or settlement agent immediately.
  2. Call instead of email. Use the phone number on the company's official website or business card. Don't trust the phone number included in the email.
  3. Be suspicions of any requested change to wiring instructions. It's highly unusual for your title or escrow company to request any last-minute changes.
  4. Confirm the account before sending. Ask your bank to verify the account information before sending a wire. First American transactions will always be to "First American Trust, FSB."
  5. Verify funds immediately. Call your title or escrow company to verify the funds have been received.

What to Do if You Think You've Been Targeted

  • Immediately report the fraud to your bank and request a Fraud Wire Recall.
  • Report to problem to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at
  • Contact regional FBI and local police.
  • Report the scam to the FTC.
  • Inform your escrow officer or settlement agent.

Additional Consumer Protection Information