One of the many things that can happen to derail your plans to buy a home as well as just ruin your day is being a victim to identity theft or an email scam. It could happen when thieves open financial accounts in your name or even during the actual home buying process. A few weeks ago, I posted a link on Vida’s Facebook business page about a local news feature (see original article) about a case of hackers targeting the closing funds for real estate transactions. In this case, the hackers were able to access the real estate agent’s email to find enough personal and transaction information to trick the title company into releasing funds into the impostor’s account.
This is nothing new. The National Association of Realtors posted an article about this trend in 2015. The information provided is not only good for agents but also for clients and other parties involved in a transaction.
I would add these items that I use in my practice:
- Using a professional showing service. I pay a company to handle agent appointments for my listings. We have a record of all appointments, have agent license verification and qualified third-party oversight.
- CTME communication: Electronic contracts are submitted again through a qualified third-party provider with secured access. Communication is also less accessible by non-transaction participants.
- My email is email@example.com. My opinion is that using an account like “firstname.lastname@example.org” is not only unprofessional but it riskier for getting hacked. This risk applies to the likes of Yahoo, MSN, Mail.com,etc.
The criminal element is always lurking and we are all potential victims. I think of it as being a defensive driver. You have to be aware of all the potential dangers around you. Play it safe and at least minimize the risk of being a victim of identity theft and email scams.
Here are some additional links you may be interested in checking out.
- Compare Reviews for Identity Theft Protection
- 10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Identity Theft
- Top email service providers who will give you anonymity and privacy
Looking to buy or sell your home. You can contact me by email or call 720-253-8513.