You may have seen the video we posted on our Facebook page regarding the couple who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by wiring funds to a fraudulent title company.
Unfortunately, these hackers are getting more sophisticated and are targeting the real estate industry.
The hacker will get into a buyer’s, seller’s, or Realtor’s email, determine the closing date of the property, and find the parties in charge of handling the transaction. Then, the hackers go behind the scenes and mimic one of those email addresses. From there, they send an email to the buyer requesting a wire transfer for the purchase of the home.
Instead of making a deposit to the title company, these buyers are sending their funds to a fraudulent account.
Again, these hackers are seriously targeting the real estate industry. Our IT department sent us a screenshot the other day to show us the number of hits against the Edina Realty firewall. Every 12 seconds, there was another hit. As you can imagine, the list of attempts was very long, and these hackers are from all over the world.
Although we’re not the only company these hackers are targeting, we are taking proactive steps to protect you, our clients and customers, from scams like these.
In the meantime, there are a few steps you can take to protect yourself as well.
Generally speaking, don’t click on any links in emails from people you don’t know. When you are in the middle of a real estate transaction, if you get an email from the title company or Edina Realty, don’t click on anything. Look for obvious grammatical errors and scroll over the email address to see what the domain is.
If the domain is Gmail or Comcast, or if anything else looks suspicious, don’t click anything and call us, your agent, or your title company right away. We will verify if we sent that email or not.
Edina Realty has also enacted a protective policy, effective immediately: We will never email wiring instructions to you for a real estate transaction. If you are one of our clients and you get an email with wiring instructions, report it to your agent or title company immediately.
Remember, although these hackers are targeting the real estate industry, there are ways you can protect yourself and your money during the real estate transaction.
If you have any other questions for us, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would be happy to help you!