Scammers Are Targeting You, Too

Your real estate clients must stay alert to avoid becoming victims of fraud. And so do you. Scammers can target real estate professionals with many of the same tricks they use against buyers and sellers.

Unfortunately, criminals’ scams are becoming more sophisticated; multi-step rip-offs may even appear legitimate at first glance. Keep these things in mind:

Don’t assume trustworthiness. Never take any action based on an incoming call or text. Phone numbers, websites, and even two-factor-authentication codes can be faked. Hang up and call the number on the back of your credit or debit card—or independently find a valid phone number for your bank or institution. You can also visit a bank branch.

Question unsolicited messages. Don’t click on email or text links in messages you aren’t expecting. Independently check them with the sender, but not by replying to the message you received. Websites can be spoofed to appear legitimate but are in fact designed to steal from you. Phishing scams remain a problem for real estate professionals.

Take care when money’s involved. You are not immune to wire fraud. Always think twice and independently confirm information before wiring business or personal funds.

You work hard for your money. It’s better to be cautious than to lose your savings or information to criminals. When in doubt, take no action.

If you do get scammed, report what happened to your bank, the Federal Trade Commission, and the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center as soon as possible. The faster you act, the better your chances of recovering your funds.

Source: Texas REALTORS®