Cybercriminals have been taking advantage of more and more real estate buyers. Here’s how you can protect yourself from them.
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Cybercrime takes place every day in the U.S. It comes in many forms, but the one we are talking about today has to do with real estate.
Here’s an example of an alarming trend in the real estate market. A retired couple who has saved their entire life to buy their retirement home has $400,000 set aside for the perfect home and are just waiting to close on it.
The couple receives an email from their closing attorney with wiring instructions. A few days later, they get a second email from the closing attorney with wiring instructions. At that point, they go ahead and send the funds.
Be careful who you send your funds to.
What this couple and many others like them didn’t notice is that in the second email they received, the account number was different. The email address was off by one letter as well. When they called their bank to see what happened, they find the funds were wired and received and the account was cleaned out. Their money was gone.
This cautionary tale demonstrates the importance of verifying the source of your wiring instructions. You want to make sure they are accurate and that they are coming from who you think they are coming from. Cybercriminals are using supercomputers to phish emails with keywords like “wiring instructions” and “closing instructions” and target them.
Always be extra careful with your wiring instructions and always verify them with your closing attorney over the phone or in person.
I hope this information is helpful to you. If you have any questions for me in the meantime, don’t hesitate to give me a call or send me an email. I look forward to hearing from you.