I first wrote about this at the end of 2015, however it is a subject worth repeating.
There is an old adage that to get to the bottom of something, you need to follow the money. Buying and selling aircraft is one of the highest stake business transactions that is still relatively un-regulated. This brings out some very interesting characters, and we might be looking at even more unscrupulous folks getting into the mix. Follow the money might better be, show me the money and I will show you people trying to figure out how to get some illegally.
The world has both gotten smaller and much harder to do business. While the internet has helped disseminate large amounts of information all around the world, it is also starting to work against us with not only information overload, but an avenue for bad guys.
Most of us are aware of the phishing scams and emails getting hacked. However, in a world where we transfer large amounts of money via digital methods it is critical that we know exactly where that money is going. This sounds simple, but simple things are easy to overlook when business is going at full speed ahead.
When you set up an escrow account, or get wire instructions to the maintenance facility for work being done, ask for a person you can talk to on the phone and come up with your own code word. DO NOT set that up via an email. Then, when it comes time to wire the funds, if any emails come with any different account details, pick up the phone and talk to the receiver of the funds. And even after that, before sending funds, a phone call with your code word to the contact person is just an added safety level.
We use safety protocols so we have not had any issues, however I can tell you that it has happened to others and wiring 6 figures to the wrong account and having the money disappear is very hard to explain. Thinking it won’t happen to you without setting up safety protocols is asking for trouble.