Wire Fraud Issues

Charleston, WV – A WV State Bar member recently reported being hit with a wire fraud issue twice in the last year, and another law firm recently wired fund to the wrong account based on a fraudulent e-mail.  In both cases a realtor’s e-mail account was hacked.  In the first case, the buyer received alleged wire instructions from our office to send the funds for closing.  Fortunately, we had asked for a cashier’s check and buyer brought to our attention.  In the second case, our seller allegedly sent wire instructions for their proceeds, to which it was sent, but immediately recovered by the bank.  Lawyers need to verbally call the recipient of the wire and verify the instructions, as well as obtaining copies of driver’s licenses.  Also, lawyers should be sending wire instructions via secure e-mail.  Generally, the hacker will get into a Yahoo account (either realtor or lawyer) and then spoof the party who is sending the wire instructions.  Here is is a link to a recent Florida Bar New article.