Phishing Scam Targets REALTORS®

By Melanie Wyne, Helen Devlin

In recent months, real estate professionals have reported an upswing in a particular wire scam. A hacker will break into a real estate professional’s e-mail account to obtain information about upcoming transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker will send an e-mail to the buyer, posing either as the title company representative or as the licensee. The fraudulent e-mail will contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and will request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly. Unfortunately, some buyers have fallen for this scheme, and have lost money.

Be aware, also, that this particular scheme is only one of many forms of online fraud being perpetrated against real estate licensees and their clients. In protecting all parties to a real estate transaction from cybercrime, real estate professionals should consider taking steps to protect their business and their clients from cybercrime.

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