By Melissa Dittman Tracey, contributing editor, REALTOR® Magazine

Real estate-related cybercrimes are increasing in frequency. Your brokerage’s data and agents’ identities could be stolen and used to dupe clients out of down payment funds.

Criminals are targeting home buyers by sending them emails that look like they come from their real estate agent or attorney. The emails may contain signatures, fonts, and logos that are identical to the originals.

The email, however, may claim plans for submitting the down payment have changed and provide new instructions to clients to wire funds to an account. Buyers who follow those new instructions often lose their funds, and later find they’re untraceable for recovery later on.

A Few Solutions

  • Secure logon and logins: Trusted Mail is a certification program that uses facial biometrics to sign and encrypt email and attachments to protect against wire fraud and email spoofing. Trusted Mail is also a 2017 Second Century REach Accelerator Class participant.
  • Email security: Folio is a Gmail extension product by tech startup Amitree for real estate agents who are looking for greater control and organization over their email accounts. Its new fraud detection assistant alerts agents via text when any message sent or received to and from their registered email account contains terms related to money. The alert is to help protect against wire transfer phishing scams targeted at the industry.
Tags: , , , ,