Wiring fraud scams are becoming more prevalent and Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate | Haven Properties is raising consumer awareness!
These schemes have entered the real estate arena. Hackers, in fact, criminals are posing as service members of the real estate transaction appearing to be very legitimate. Stealing passwords, they access email accounts, search inboxes for details related to the real estate transaction, then generate a spoof email appearing to come from an agent of the transaction, instructing funds to be wired to a fraudulent account.
Here are some tips for keeping real estate transaction secure: (realtormag.realtor.org)
1. Build a standard warning about wire scams into your e-mail signature or include a disclaimer at the bottom of your e-mails that says you will not discuss personal financial information over e-mail.
2. Discuss the communication practices that will be typical within your transaction with all service providers and agents within your transaction.
3. Verify by phone immediately prior to the transfer of funds so you know you are sending money to a legitimate source. Never use the contact phone number on the wiring instructions to do this. Look up the title company or law firm and verify directly with them.
4. You should avoid free Wi-Fi with no firewall to protect against hackers capturing an e-mail password or other sensitive information.
5. Always use strong passwords and change them regularly. Consider changing your password before wire instructions are sent.
As time goes on, scams continue to become more sophisticated. It is important to emphasize the need to establish protocol and expectations between all parties involved in a transaction early on, because once the money is gone…unfortunately, it is gone forever!
Please contact us with any question concerning internet fraud or any real estate questions. We are here for you!