Real estate fraud is growing fast again. Surviving it means buyers, sellers, and agents need to seek out enhanced security.
When real estate is doing well (as it is now), it attracts legions of scam artists. Today, these criminals are smarter and more prevalent than ever. Using technology, they are launching a barrage of nonstop campaigns form all over the world. And, often the millions in funds being scammed may be funding terrorism.
3 Types of Trending Fraud:
Senior fraud is one of the fastest growing types of crime today. Real estate rich seniors are being attacked from all angles, including predatory mortgages, phone scams, and falsified liens and title scams.
Realtor Association Fraud
In Florida, con artists have even been creating fake Realtor boards, and have been using mail and fake websites to trick real estate agents into paying dues they don’t owe.
Email Hacking & Wire Fraud
Realtors, buyers, and sellers and being hammered daily by email scams from hackers. These very real looking emails are being used to take control of email accounts, and then to redirect funds from closings to foreign or hijacked bank accounts. Some Realtors are getting emails that look like legitimate leads, that they can’t resist responding to. Buyers, and banks are even being sent fake closing document packages, along with fake wire requests.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg. There are dozens of scams, and the scale of the attempts being made to con all parties in real estate transactions is massive, and growing.
Buyers, sellers, and agents need to be on top of these trends. They need to be alert to these scams to know how to avoid them. But these cons are becoming so fast and furious and sophisticated that this alone is not enough. Website and email security need to be top priorities. So, should be protecting cellphones and laptops from skimmers and thieves. Unfortunately, most Realtors, buyers, and sellers don’t have the funds to have a full-time staff running checks, monitoring internet security, and verifying wire information. Since, most of these issues come up on title and at the closing table, the best move most can make is to simply get a solid title partner. A great title company can make all the difference in protecting the title and ownership rights to property, as well as ensuring all funds are collected and disbursed correctly.
Who’s your title company?