Real Estate transactions have unfortunately become a target of opportunity for scammers. There are a variety of scams that are run that effect the real estate industry, you can get a general overview of some of those scams, but let’s focus on one of the most pernicious: Closing Cost fraud.

This type of fraud targets a home buyer, and attempts to divert their closing cost payment from going to a legitimate account and instead sent to the fraudsters account.

A technique often used in this type of fraud is Phishing. Phishing is a term for the cyber crime technique of sending emails meant to trick users into divulging personal information. So in practice a fraudster might send the buyer an email that is made to look like it is from their current real estate agent or bank and request they wire the closing funds to an account the fraudster has set up.

Once this money is wired to the fraudsters account there is very little chance of it ever being recovered. This is exacerbated by the fact that many cyber criminals who target US citizens in fact live overseas.

Awareness is the first step in prevention of Phishing, to dive deeper into how to protect yourself and your clients.