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Consumer real estate payments represented the most frequent target of wire fraud in 2022, with cybercriminals targeting buyer cash-to-close payments in particular, according to the new State of Wire Fraud report published by CertifID.

Cybercriminals began targeting real estate payments with greater frequency during the Covicd-19 pandemic when virtual closings became the new normal and home sales and median home prices began to spike.

CertifID determined that 74% of wire fraud recovery requests came from consumers in 2022, with the wire fraud loss averaging $106,557. Of the recovery requests for wire fraud in 2022, 41% were buyer cash-to-close transactions, 24% were mortgage payoffs and 11% were seller net proceeds.

The report also found wire fraud recovery success rates for consumers were one-third that of real estate firms.

“Real estate transactions represent some of the largest transactions a consumer will ever make, so losses due to fraud can be devastating,” says Tyler Adams, co-founder and CEO of CertifID. “Consumers need to understand the importance of protecting their transactions; they need to be more aware and educated on how to recognize fraud; and they need to know what immediate next steps to take if disaster strikes and recovery is necessary.”