It seems that everywhere you turn lately, you learn about some new scamming scheme. You hear about them for any number of resources and products. Well, it looks like home buyers are no less the target of scamming now. A scheme going around has been tailor-made for them. We’ve simply got to be aware of damaging home buyer scams like this. In fact, we’ve got to take steps when possible to undo them.
Beware of Damaging Home Buyer Scams Through a Realtor’s Email
The way this latest home buyer scam works should alarm just about anyone. Scammers act when a home buyer has been working with a realtor. As the buyer gets closer to making a decision, the scammer moves in for the kill. How do the scammers know? In fact, they spoof your realtor’s email. You get emails from them posing as the agent. These usually have some urgent message, link or attachment to click on. In this particular case, the spammers urge you to wire the money to secure the home purchase.
Everyone should beware of damaging home buyer scams like these! But, exactly how do scammers do it? Unfortunately, this type of scam is fairly easy to do. For example, scammers may use mail services that are easy to manipulate. PHP Mailer would be one example. As a result, they can type any email address they choose in the ‘from’ field. One of the few ways you have of knowing it’s not from your realtor is by delving into the IP address of origin. Although, not many folks know how to find that info.
Also, scammers hack passwords when people log into free Wi-Fi networks. In fact, even clicking on those cute animal emails may give them access! Once the scammers get access, they search yours or your realtor’s inbox. They look for anything to do with real estate transactions. As a result, you may even get a fake message from your attorney, title representative or other trusted source.
You may ask, what a scam email of this type looks like? It will typically have an alert with new, money wiring instructions. Sadly, the wire goes to a fraudulent account. If you fall for the false alert, you will likely never see that money again.
Using Protective Measures, Beware of Damaging Home Buyer Scams
Here’s how to protect yourself from virulent scams like this. Firstly, have a good rapport with your realtor. Stay in contact. If you notice something funny, like your realtor urgently asking for money in an unexpected request, and out of the blue, call them. Confirm if it came from them!
Finally, beware of damaging home buyer scams and any online scam. Here are added steps you should take to protect yourself.
- Turn up your spam filters. Also, use tools like Priority Inbox.
- Learn how to trace IP addresses and read message headers.
- Never click unfamiliar, unsolicited links.
- Never download unfamiliar, unsolicited attachments.
- Keep your computer anti-malware up-to-date.
- Last but not least, work with a realtor you can Trust. Work with Carmen Miranda.