Because there are plenty of compromised accounts in America (or the EU)
People get their bank account hacked. The scammer uses this legit U.S. account as a middle man and wires money to his foreign account.
If the buyer is dealing with a lawyer in a local town, why would they wire funds to a foreign country?
Lawyers aren't always tech savvy. They don't know how to verify email authenticity, or to call and talk to an individual if things change. A well timed email that look legitimate will probably fool a good number of them.
People don't always check where the bank is located. Even if they did, the attacker could buy compromised bank accounts off the dark web and route through those.
In the situation that the scammer sets up a local bank account, that would require a confederate in the United States--something much harder to accomplish.
Or bought a compromised account off of the dark web. People don't login to their bank account everyday. Given the number of data breaches and people's penchant for reusing passwords there are probably thousands of compromised accounts.
I would expect that would raise a flag and the bank would immediately investigate.
Immediately after suspicious activity. Wire transfers cannot be reversed, there are valid reasons to wire money out of the country. They'll flag it as suspicious eventually, but the scammer has already likely routed tens of thousands out of the country.
So, how does this work? Does anyone have an actual example of a wire transfer instruction that fooled a person into wiring abroad when they knew they were dealing with a local US firm, like a real estate attorney's office?
The link you added has a story like this. I've also told several people to use a cashier's check sent by certified mail for large sums of money. Scamming is a numbers game. Out of hundreds of people a few are dumb enough to be duped. In the story linked about, the scammer would have over 100k if he was able to dupe 5 people like that.
EDIT - PSA for wire transfer
They are very difficult to reverse and the only real advantage is you have the money immediately. They are also a favorite of scammers because of this. Consider using a cashier's check if possible. This has 2 advantages.
They are made out to a specific person or entity, and you must have an address to mail it to, or hand it in person. Technically wire transfers are made to a person too, but many banks don't bother to check this part.
If details change at the last minute, be wary. If tens of thousands are on the line people at the bank will understand a follow-up call. Don't trust new information received. Verify through trusted channels.
Email is not a particularly secure or safe form of communication. Follow up via a different channel if things change.