Cyber thieves have entered into the Real Estate world and you need to protect yourself! Money transfer schemes are sophisticated and buyers and sellers are their targets. In 2017, according to the FBI, there were more than 9,600 victims in the real estate sector with over $56 million in losses. Below are some important tips:
- Consider bringing in a Cashier’s check at closing instead of doing a wire transfer.
- Before making a wire transfer, call your real estate agent and escrow officer to confirm wire instructions – Do not rely on email alone.
- Hackers and scammers can impersonate agents, brokers and escrow companies via email. It is crucial you do not wire funds based on an email alone. ALWAYS confirm transactions before they take place.
- Pay attention to URL’s, email address changes and last minute or urgent requests for money.
- Never release your passwords, account numbers or contact details via email links. Some emails look official, but they are not. It is best to go to your bank’s direct website.
The best defense against cyber-crime is by becoming aware of the many scams that are being used. You can find more information at www.fbi.gov/investigate/cyber