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LOST WIRE – INTERNET FRAUD IS REAL

Posted by Ben Jones on Friday, April 5th, 2019 at 8:55pm.

A True Story from Debra Leatham>

At a recent closing where I represented the Buyer, who lived in the San Diego area, he had to sign his escrow documents via a Signing Service chosen by the Title Company.

After signing his documents mid-morning on a Monday, he took the wire instructions to his bank, Wells Fargo, just before 5:00.

Both the Teller and my Buyer double checked the wire instructions and the bank form. The Teller guaranteed that the wire would go out first thing in the morning and should be at US Bank, the Title Company bank, by noon. This would facilitate a Tuesday closing as his documents should have been back to Escrow on Tuesday morning.

When the wire did not show up by noon, no-one but me, seemed concerned. The transfer from these 2 banks has a reputation for being slow.

By the end of the day when it was not there, I was very concerned. A call to my Buyer set him in motion with Wells Fargo, only to be told that everything on their end looked good, and to let them know if it was not there on Wednesday.

The wire was not there on Wednesday. The Buyer had to go to Wells Fargo and get the long federal tracking number. Because of all the fraud, they would not give this number over the phone or email. He had to pick it up, then scan and send to Escrow.

During this time there was a lot of finger pointing with everyone denying they were wrong, but all the time I am concerned that the funds were pirated after it left Wells Fargo, diverting the funds to another account at US Bank. That is how it is done with the scammers get that money. Once gone it is gone!

This was nearly $300,000 !

After careful examination of the instructions from the Title Company and the bank form with the tracking number, there was a typographical error on the bank form.
At this point, the fingers pointed to US Bank. The money was received by them, but they were unable to deposit to any account because the key words did not match, namely the reference to the name, escrow number or address.

The wire was returned to Wells Fargo, who immediately re-wired correctly to the Title Company and closing was done on Thursday late afternoon.

This could have turned out so much worse.



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