If you're looking for a wire transfer fraud example, then you have just found it.
In this case, it was more than a random email asking for the wire transfer. Instead, hackers were monitoring emails and waiting for the right time to strike.
This happened in Oregon, to a couple buying their dream property.
They transferred $379,000 into the account of a cybercriminal before they realized they had been duped.
And here's the scary part: Someone working on their real estate transaction got hacked and that's what lead to the crime.
No one's saying if it was the realtor's email that was hacked or that of the broker or the title company, but it is clear the hackers were watching the parties discuss what should happen next in the transaction. And that discussion was happening via email.
"Hackers somehow obtained access to the email conversation with their broker and title company, then impersonated the broker and sent a fraudulent account number for the wire transfer."
So we have hacking, a spoofed email (the one that impersonated their broker), and wire transfer fraud all in a single real estate transaction.
It's a crime convergence trend we're seeing: Cybercriminals are getting both more sophisticated and more deliberate in hitting their targets.
Says Pauline Weintraub, as part of the more than 100 comments posted so far on the original story: "We signed the papers the day after the money was wired, our realtor said everything was 'good to go' (not via email). We did not even know about the bad wire until more than 24 hours later, so we lost a lot of time to recover. Umpqua Bank was the hero, as was Officer McCubbins of the local police department. If not for them we would not have received a dime."
Read the rest of this Oregon couple's story and you'll learn how they got some of their money back, but it took both time and thousands of dollars in extra fees to finally get their dream property.