Florida Realtors have become popular targets by an array of scammers.
Real estate agents make attractive targets for fraudsters due to the sensitive data they handle, the money they make, and the amount of communications they are used to having to deal with. Here are three current scams agents need to watch out for.
Florida Realtors have recently been hit with a direct mail scheme demanding they pay hundreds of dollars in fees to the ‘Real Estate Board’. It’s a fake organization, which even has a legitimate looking website, aimed as raking in millions of dollars from agents who just don’t know any better. At least one batch of this bad mail lists an address to send money at 212 East Hillsboro Blvd., #607, Deerfield Beach, FL, 33441.
Email Phishing Scams
Realtors get excited when they think they are receiving leads. That often causes them to let their guard down. One recent scam involves fraudsters replying to online advertising as leads, and then requesting the agent open a file which requires them to put in their password. Don’t do it. Once your information is compromised they can access all of your data, and use your email address to unleash phishing attacks, or attempt to redirect funds from closings to their own bank accounts. Or worse; hijack your bank account, and make you look guilty.
Fake Tax Calls
Taxes can be a complicated issue for real estate agents. A new scam preys on these concerns with robocalls pretending to be from an IRS agent, threatening arrest if those called don’t satisfy fake tax debts immediately. A common giveaway is that these calls come from odd states, without a major IRS office; i.e. Alaska.
At a minimum FL Realtors who fall prey to these scams can lose a couple hundred dollars of hard earned money. Though some could lose everything, including their reputations, long-term clients, and everything attached to their identity. It is crucial to be vigilant, and to be on the defensive against these attacks. If you are 100% sure it is a scam, take a second to report the spam, phone number, or address to authorities so they can close them down, and make the industry safer. The more confidence consumers have in a secure industry, the more they will buy or sell. Otherwise many will prefer to just sit on the sidelines, deeming it safer not to take action.