There’s something scary happening in real estate right now: Email and wire fraud. From hackers looking for your account numbers to scammers who want you to transfer your down payment to them, there are always people looking to take advantage of others during the home-buying process.
We’ve talked about this quite a bit on our Foote Title Group Facebook page recently, and we hope you’ll take the time to watch the videos and read the resources we’ve posted on this topic.
Misspelled email address. The name on the email – such as your bank – may be spelled right, but the email may be spelled wrong or look like gobbledygook.
Terrible formatting. Legitimate emails come with professional layouts and tidy formatting. Scams do not, even if they look close to the emails your bank sends.
Asks for personal information. Scams will ask for you to click a link or open an attachment to submit your personal information. Don’t!
Grammatical errors. Scam emails are usually poorly written and badly spelled and punctuated.
Impersonal greetings. As a general rule, anyone with whom you have an account with address you by name in an email, even if it comes through an automated system. Scam emails are typically less personal, PayPal says, addressing the recipient as “Dear user” or referring to you by your email address.
Deals, awards, and bonuses. It’s cliché because it’s true: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
False sense of urgency. Scammers will try to frighten you into thinking there is an immediate problem with your account or the purchase of your home. Don’t fall for it.
What should you do when you get an email that looks suspect?
Verify. Call the person or company from whom the email seems to be from to ask whether they sent it. If it’s legitimate, you’re only out the time it took to made the call. If it’s fake, you’ll be protecting yourself and reporting the scam.
You can also send an email about the email, but don’t do so by responding to the message you got. Instead, open a new email window and send the message to the address you have for your contact at the bank or title company.
Don’t click! Even if the message comes from someone you know or a company that you’re dealing with, don’t click on links or open attachments if you weren’t expecting them. Before you do, verify that the message is legitimate. Scammers do all they can to make the email look like it’s coming from someone you trust. Don’t fall for it.