Scam-Alert

We have received notice of a scam that is gaining momentum and has been affecting REALTORS® across the country.

Realtors: Be on alert if you receive an inquiry through Zillow or another third party data facilitator. It begins with a customer sending you an email with a listing and stating they want a home similar to the one they are sending you. You should consider not responding if you have not had previous communications or have worked with this customer before because once you email them back they gain access to your email account.

These scammers have been particularly focusing on real estate agents with GMail or Hotmail email accounts. The perpetrator’s have been hacking the email accounts looking for closing wiring instructions contained in the body of emails. Once found, they are notifying the buyer and changing the wiring instructions for the wire to be sent to a trust account in N.Y. The money then appears to be transferred outside the United States.

The scam works like this:

What can you do to avoid becoming a victim of this scam?

Recently a Wichita agent was targeted in this scam and their buyer lost $180,000! The real estate agent and company are now involved in an FBI investigation and will be involved in an E&O settlement.

Click here to read about another news report from Michigan about this terrible scam.