Denise Creswell, For The Tennessean8 a.m. CDT June 19, 2016
Phishing, hacking, wire fraud â these are all ways people attempt to steal from others online. As our lives become more and more dependent upon cyberspace, the chances of being caught in a cyber scam have become even greater.
Most people have heard of the "Nigerian prince" scams or phishing emails asking for Social Security or banking information, but many people donât realize they need to watch out for possible scams when buying or selling their homes. Cyber crimes have become increasingly sophisticated over the years. The people perpetrating them focus on situations where a lot of money is changing hands, making real estate transactions an ideal target.
The National Association of Realtors recently warned its members and consumers about a wiring scam that has occurred during the closing stage of the homebuying and selling process. Hackers will break into the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to get details about a real estate transaction. The hacker will then send an email to the buyer, for example, pretending to be someone involved in the closing process. The email says there has been a last-minute change and requests the buyer wire their down payment to a particular account. That account happens to belong to the hacker.
While it may seem like there are hundreds of ways for a criminal to take advantage of a consumer online, there are just as many ways consumers can protect themselves. Here are a few tips to help homebuyers and sellers avoid real estate scams:
Do not send sensitive information via email.Do not send banking information, your Social Security number or anything else that could be used to compromise your identity over email. Use only encrypted email if you absolutely must send personal or sensitive information.
Do not click on unverified email. If you do not recognize the name or email address of the sender, do not open the email. Beware of any attachments or downloadable files from unknown email addresses; they can contain viruses or provide a way for a hacker to access your computer.
Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi.Using an open connection can leave you vulnerable to hackers and scammers. Only access sensitive information on your home computer or on a secured network.
Denise Creswell is president of the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors. A Realtor is a member of the National Association of Realtors who subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Contact her at 615-473-1663 or email@example.com.
Author:Marilyn Cortez Phone: 956-587-1633 Dated: June 20th 2016 Views: 405 About Marilyn: Always ahead of the highly competitive RGV real estate market, Marilyn Cortez is a Spanish speaking ...
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Always ahead of the highly competitive RGV real estate market, Marilyn Cortez is a Spanish speaking native of the Rio Grande Valley. Born and raised in Mission, Marilyn is committed to her clients, and is recognized as a Top Agent in the Greater McAllen Real Estate area, and within Keller Williams Realty. Since the start of her Real Estate career in 2007, she has sold over 40 million dollars of real estate. Known by her fellow real estate agents to be hardworking, honest, dedicated and motivated, Marilyn is knowledgeable in all areas of Real Estate and has built her business on results, with more than 70% of her clients being repeat clients.
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"Marilyn was great! She was very personable and always available to discuss my needs and concerns. I was a first time home buyer and she made me comfortable throughout the whole process. If I had to do it all over again, I'd definitely pick Marilyn and I recommend her to everyone I know!"