The world of technology has undoubtably changed the way we get things done nowadays, but what can come with efficiency and convenience are issues and lack of dependability. Cybercrime is one of these problems. And a major one at that! All we can do is learn what to look for, be more observant and careful and educate our buyers and sellers.
Unfortunately, there have been many instances where buyers have unknowingly wired funds to a hacker, either for a P&S or for closing funds, and POOF…their money is gone.
Here are some internet safety tips that you can give to your buyers and sellers:
1. Be very careful emailing any financial information. You may think you are sending the numbers to a trusted friend, but email servers are unfortunately not always secure.
2. Emails from unfamiliar contacts may be a scam. If you do not know the sender, delete the email and do not open any attachments.
3. If you do know the sender, but something isn’t quite right, call and verify verbally to ensure the legitimacy of the email.
4. Speak directly with your agent on a regular basis to determine a plan for deposits and money transfers. You’ll then be able to detect fraudulent financial transfer requests from a potentially harmful source.
Not only do you need to educate your buyers and sellers, but you as an agent need to be vigilant. Here are some tips for you to prevent hackers from attacking:
1. Conduct business by using a secure company email platform instead of your own personal email, such as Yahoo or Gmail. This will make it more difficult for the hackers to infiltrate and create an email address if it is on a company-hosted server.
2. Be sure to warn your clients of these scams to help them better protect themselves and to decrease their chances of being targeted.
3. Change your passwords often and make sure the passwords you choose are secure.
4. Have verbal communication often with your Buyers so you both know the plan for deposits, etc.
There are some things we can’t avoid but following these tips will help to prevent any attacks on your clients!