The Latest Scam in Real Estate

Scammers have been hacking into a title company’s email or Realtor’s email to steal money from homebuyers. What can you do to avoid this scam?

The latest scam in real estate is affecting a lot of people. I wanted to make sure that you are aware of it and go over a few ways you can avoid it.

When you go through the process of closing on a home, there is a lot of interaction between you, your real estate agent, and the title company. These scammers are hacking into either the title company’s email account or the Realtor’s email account.

They watch all of this sensitive information going back and forth. Once they are inside the real estate agent’s account, they can effectively take over the agent’s identity and email false wiring instructions to homebuyers. Once the buyer wires the money to the new account the hacker made, the hacker takes the money and runs.

Since the hacker used the real estate agent’s email or the title company’s email, most buyers don’t know what’s happened until their money is gone.

What can you do to avoid this scam?

The most important thing to remember is that we will never ever ask you to send funds or a copy of a check via email. We won’t do it, and the title companies we represent won’t do it.

We will never ask you to send funds via email.

We’ve heard some nightmares about $50,000, $60,000, and $70,000 closing checks that are stolen because of hacked email accounts.

If you get an email that appears to be from your Realtor or title company asking you to send sensitive account information via email, don’t do it. Call your Realtor to let them know what’s going on.

Do as much as you can over the phone. I know that we hate talking on the phone these days, but make sure you call your Realtor or title company or handle things in person in order to avoid email whenever possible.

I also recommend that you work with a Realtor and title company that uses an encrypted service for their email.

We are moving in this direction to protect ourselves and our clients. Although we will never ask you to send funds via email, there is just too much sensitive information floating around. We want to protect our clients, so we are encrypting everything that we do.

Ultimately, make sure you never send any sensitive financial account information over the web, and certainly don’t send it over email. That is the best way to avoid this latest scam.

If you have any other questions about avoiding this scam or about real estate
in general, just give me
a call or send me an email. I would be happy to help you.