The longer you're in this business the more scams you'll come across. Granted, there is a lot of money at stake in Real Estate and it is open game for the unscrupulous. This action will roll across the Country in due time. Take heed!
Underwriters working with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Florida Realty sent an alert concerning a recent fraud scheme that has affected real estate professionals and title agents in Florida.
The scheme works like this:
Realtor’s email accounts (often Gmail or Hotmail accounts) are hacked into without their knowledge.
Then, the scammers continuously search the emails for discussions of upcoming closings.
When they have learned enough about the upcoming closings (such as the amount of the deposit, name of one or both parties, the identity of the entity holding the deposit), they strike!
The fraudsters send an email to the agent or buyer posing as the title company, and state that new wire instructions are attached for closing. This email appears genuine in every way. It will have the title agents normal signature, links to their social media pages, and show the title agent as the sender, with only a slight variation in the email address. They will even ask that you respond to THAT email to confirm receipt.
This email will also often have attachments that look legitimate (e.g. the escrow disclosure and agreement or the purchase and sales contract) which match the documents in your file but with routing instructions for the fraudsters bank, typically out of the country.
Florida Real Estate Broker
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