Title Matters

WIRE FRAUD ALERT

March 17, 2017

AND THIS FRAUD JUST ALMOST HAPPENED....

  • On a phone call last week, our office set a closing date and time, as well as, having a discussion about the customer wiring money the morning of the closing.
  • The customer called our office around 9:15AM on 3/15/17 and wanted to know why our closing coordinator sent him a request to have funds wired today (2 days before closing) after we had already discussed it last week. The customer stated that was an email from our normal email address and looked very similar in layout and design. The customer thankfully called and did not blindly wire $131,598.57.This is the email verbiage that was sent to the customer by the criminal as follows:

Subject: Warwick Avenue Closing Instruction

Hi (insert customer name),
congrats in advance on your new property.
We are pleased to inform you that we would like to have closing funds earlier before closing day to avoid delays and due to multiple closings we have scheduled for same day as yours, we are requesting you to initiate wire transfer to our escrow account today. Check is not acceptable.
Wiring information is attached.
Please email me a copy of wire transfer confirmation slip from the bank, as soon as its done.

THIS EMAIL WAS NOT SENT FROM OUR OFFICE OR OUR SERVER.

  • Our closing coordinator was immediately suspicious since the customer said the email came outside of our normal business hours. We asked the customer to read me the email and knew that the language/wording was not something we or anyone in this office, would normally use.
  • Our IT company investigated and stated that the email did not come from us. It looks like this may be email spoofing (making it appear to come from one address when it doesn’t).
  • The fraudulent wiring instructions are as follows:

WIRING INSTRUCTIONS:
Escrow Account
Santander Bank
Account Number: 7954509656
Wire Routing Number: 011075150
Bank Address: 31 Cross St, Peabody, MA 01960

  • These are not our wiring instructions. We called Santander Bank and they disclosed that the above account number is for WP Quality Trader, Inc. set up by a William Pydynkowski on February 23, 2017.
  • Thankfully the customer thought it was an odd request and didn’t act on it and send a wire in the amount of $131,598.57.
  • We are providing the above information to the Louisiana Attorney General’s Office for further action.