THERE is a new brand of fraud being perpetrated on buyers and sellers, often using real estate agent email accounts. These schemes are fairly elaborate and alarmingly effective.
In its most typical form, someone (i.e., “Bad Person”) hacks or otherwise gains access to a real estate agent’s email account and monitors their email transactions. When the agent sends an email to their buyer, including wiring instructions for an upcoming closing, Bad Person moves in. Bad Person sends an email from the agent’s account to the buyer. The email, which looks like it has come from the agent, says something like, “I realized I just sent you the wrong (or old) wire instructions for the closing agent. Please disregard those and use these new current wire instructions instead.” New, fake wire instructions are attached. The buyer then unknowingly wires tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Bermuda Triangle, never to be seen or heard from again.
Other times, the agent’s email is not directly hacked, but may be “spoofed.” This is where Bad Person creates a fake email…Read Full Article