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September 7, 2021

Business Email Compromise: The Biggest Cyber Target on a Realtor's Back

 

How a Realtor Lost $257,000 of Their Clients' Money

Realtor Kevin got an email from a prospective buyer who was ready to make an offer with their loan pre-approval attached. Kevin clicked the attachment to view the buyer’s documents, but there wasn’t anything there. "That’s strange," thought Kevin, and he closed his email. What Kevin didn’t know is that spyware was just installed on his device, and now, hackers had access to everything! The hackers were able to intercept a different deal Kevin was working and re-route a $257,000 wire from a REAL buyer working with Kevin, losing his client’s hard-earned money and their home purchase.

You’ve heard it before, but we’re going to tell you again! Your email and cyber security are paramount to your business - and your clients’ money.

From wire fraud and malware to personal information loss, there are several ways cyber crooks can succeed in a heist at your loss. There was OVER $213 million reported loss from real estate fraud, just last year!

Here are just a few tips to ensure you’re not a sitting duck for scammers and hackers:

  1. Email Security! This is a BIG one! Use spam filters put in place by your organization and report any potential phishing. If using a personal email, be weary of phishing scams. Do not click or open anything from an unknown sender!
  2. Protect your connection! Use a VPN to protect your connection. Public WIFI allows hackers on the same networks you’re using and gives them full view of what is transmitted. Cellular devices are encrypted and can help protect your transmissions.
  3. UPDATE your devices! Security patches come through updates, so ensure you’re taking a few minutes to run those pesky updates and restart.
  4. Password Managers! Utilizing a password manager can help you make each password strong and different for all sites and programs you’re using.
  5. Multi-Factor Authentication! When available, ALWAYS choose two-factor authentication utilizing a code texted to you or a program like Google Authenticator.

By protecting yourself and your devices with layered security, you are decreasing your chances of a cyber-attack. At Florida Agency Network, cyber security is our top priority to ensure you and your clients have a secure transaction from start to finish.

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