There is a new real estate scam out there. How can you avoid becoming a victim? What do you do if you are hit?
We recently sent out an alert on an Outrageous New Form of Real Estate Fraud. In this two pronged attack on real estate buyers, sellers, and professional service providers cyber criminals are hijacking bank accounts, and attempting to intercept and redirect funds from the proper recipients. This often involves hacking or spoofing their email accounts. So how can you prevent this from happening to you?
Quick Tips to Stay Safe
It pays to be vigilant all the time. But extra care should be taken the moment you begin to venture into a real estate transaction. That means right from when you begin to look for somewhere to rent or buy, or begin looking for help to sell your Florida property.
- Using an ID theft protection service
- Being prudent about where you submit your personal information
- Reporting email spam and scam attempts
- Choosing strong passwords
- Keeping passwords and personal info secure during showings
- Triple checking wiring information for sending funds
- Vetting the companies you work with in advance
- Staying alert to bank account transactions and oddities
- Choosing service providers that have a solid plan to identify and prevent fraud
Unfortunately, in spite of all best efforts some scammers will hack their way through and get into email accounts and bank accounts. Having alerts and backup accounts, and contact information so that you can regain control of your information and secure it is crucial.
Don’t wait if you think there may be an issue, or in cases when you’ve misplaced your phone or wallet. Get on it immediately, flag accounts, halt suspicious activity, and increase your odds of saving your money, property and identity.
If you don’t the consequences can last a long time, and they can be hefty.
We are all busy, but it is smart and responsible to report fraudulent behavior too. You wouldn’t want those hackers and criminals to victimize your parents, grandmother, siblings, or kids next. And if they have your information it makes it even easier for them to target those closest to you.
Do be prudent in this area. Make sure the issue isn’t a simple understanding, and give those you do business with a chance to explain and make issues right if there was a genuine mistake. Setting real estate regulators, local law enforcement, and the FBI on someone can ruin lives, and many innocent lives around those people. If will devastate the futures of kids related to those people for sure, even if they are later proven innocent. So make sure your hunches are well founded before unleashing the watchdogs. But when there is a clear case of attempted fraud or actual fraud do your part to keep others safe.
How to choose the best services to ensure a safe real estate transaction…