Today, we are taking a break from the usual Did You Know format to alert you of a recent scam affecting real estate agents in our area.
If you did not already know, our industry has been especially targeted by hackers and fraudsters. Recently, there have been several email hacking or spoofing cases in the area targeting settlement companies, relocation companies, real estate agents and others in our industry. Usually the hackers are trying to divert the seller’s proceeds to their own accounts by hacking or spoofing the seller’s or listing agent’s email and telling the title agent to change the SELLER’s wiring instructions. Any settlement company you work with should be aware of this and have strict policies to address how it confirms that the seller’s proceeds are being wired to the correct account.
THIS WEEK, we were made aware of a new variation on this scheme. The hacker took over a buyer agent’s account and forwarded the BUYER “new” wiring instructions from the settlement company for the buyer to deposit his closing funds. The instructions were for THE HACKER’S ACCOUNT! How many times do you forward wiring instructions to your buyers? Many agents do this to facilitate the transaction for their clients. Here are some steps you can take to prevent this from happening to you:
Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Shulman Rogers is here when you need us.
For more information regarding our Residential Real Estate Settlements Group or our general real estate transactions and litigation practice, please contact the Group Chair at 301-230-6574 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
This publication/newsletter is for informational purposes and does not contain or convey legal advice. The information herein should not be used or relied upon in regard to any particular facts or circumstances without first consulting a lawyer.
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