Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Tips to Avoid Becoming a Wire Fraud Victim

We would like to alert you to a sophisticated wire fraud scam targeting home buyers that is sweeping the nation. This scam is being perpetrated by hackers that are gaining access to real estate agent, attorney and/or home buyer/seller email accounts. Once they gain access, they create fraudulent email accounts to communicate directly with the client -- all without the real estate agent or attorney knowing. The intent of the scam is to make the home buyer believe they are speaking via email with their agent or attorney in an effort to get them to wire money (typically closing funds) to them. In some cases across the country, it has ended up costing home buyers that have fallen for this scam hundreds of thousands of dollars.

At HUNT Real Estate ERA, we take every security measure possible to protect our clients' data. Ultimately, though, the responsibility is yours to ensure you are not sharing your personal information with a scammer. If you receive a suspicious email, the simplest way to identify if it is legit is to look at the email address of the sender. If it does not match your real estate agent or attorney's address, report it to them immediately.

To further ensure you are protected, we recommend the following:

  • NEVER WIRE MONEY without first verballing confirming with your real estate attorney
  • Do not visit unreliable websites
  • Never click on a link that you do not trust.
  • If you receive any suspicious communication about your real estate transaction, contact your real estate agent and/or your attorney immediately.
  • Always use antivirus software with the latest updates
  • Ensure your computer's operating system has the latest security updates
  • Make sure all of your online passwords are secure (email, banking, etc.) and change them frequently
  • Do not use the same password on multiple accounts

For more information and ways you can help protect yourself against wire fraud, please read this article and download the white paper:

Reducing the Risk of Real Estate Wire Fraud