Historically, the year of 2017 was an era of alleged scams and among hundreds of occurrences, here’s the one worthy to write down.
It was November 2017 when an escrow officer of North American Title Company – a third neutral party which is involved in the closing of a real estate transaction received a realtor approval on wire instructions. Following up to this, he also received an email that looks like an impression coming from the real estate agent, clearly asking him to send the payment to his realtor’s business account instead. To confirm that no one is playing fraud, the escrow officer immediately called the real estate agent to confront his speculations.
Luckily, it resulted out in a safe deal and the scheduled $360,000 purchase transaction was made unhesitatingly. Today real estate scams are becoming increasingly prevalent and pushing the businesses to the offense in response to cyber crime. A threat that is approximately costing us $5 billion a year, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).
It makes us wonder who is behind the mask for these scam email accounts and so a recent webinar organized by Realty Executives International delivers some crucial insights into these criminals who perform such fraudulent intermittently. These points are also highly-advisable by certain cyber fraud lawyers to keep your company’s sensitive data secured.
Let’s look at these:
The Hacker Guide
“We typically think of hackers as these magnificent young minds doing things we don’t know how to do,” said Martin Hellmer, who supervises the FBI’s Cyber Task Force in Phoenix, during the Jan. 26 webinars, “Wire Fraud: Educating Clients & Avoiding Scams in Real Estate.”
The FBI has successfully identified the different types of hackers who target real estate brokerages and other related areas- out of whom, each triggers different motives.
TYPES OF HACKERS COMMITTING ONLINE CRIMES
Source: FBI Cyber Crimes Division
|Hactivist (e.g., Anonymous)||Misuse computer systems to advance political or social causes.|
|Criminal||Individuals criminal enterprises steal personal |
information and especially dig out victims for financial
|Insider||Insiders steal proprietary information for personal or |
financial gain or either for ideological purposes.
|Espionage||Non-state hackers conduct computer intrusions to steal confidential state information and proprietary information from private organizations.|
|Terrorist||Sabotage computer networks that are designed to |
operated critical infrastructure, such as the electricity
|Warfare||Nation-state hackers interrupt military and critical infrastructure systems to gain a national or financial |
How To Stay Away From Hacker Spectrum?
Finley Maxson, senior counsel for the National Association of Realtors (NAR) strictly advised the real estate companies to incorporate the following policies regarding data retention and destruction, cybersecurity and data security.
1. Turn on software updates routinely as they are best for security improvements and further keep your computer system safe.
2. Delete all NPI files from your computer and phone devices.
3. Make your system password protected by using a combination of multiple lowercase and capital characters, numbers and symbols. Reset your password after every 90 days.
4. Discuss the range of events in a transaction and run wire transfer to connect with your clients. Don’t discuss financial matters via email.
5. Examine all incoming emails and match their addresses to those in your record.
6. Avoid clicking any links in emails. Call your clients directly to verify any information.
7. Above everything else, conduct a workshop weekly to educate your colleagues and clients on the happening cyber security procedures.
In case you detect theft or cyber fraud within your official or personal computer network, give Gerri Wiebe a call at +1(204) 799-5956 today. They have a hoop of highly-experienced cyber legal consultants in Winnipeg with an estimate of 15 years of experience.
They can smartly build a solid defense for your precious data. Get secured now!