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.”