4 Ways to Avoid Real Estate Fraud
Wire fraud is the most prevalent type of real estate scam in the US, with scammers impersonating real estate professionals to gain their victim’s money. The National Association of Realtors reported over 13,000 victims of wire fraud in 2020 alone.
At Equitable, keeping client data and money safe is our top priority. Here are some of our top tips on avoiding real estate scams.
Know how the process works
When consumers aren’t aware of how the transaction process works, it can be much easier to fall prey to bad actors. Scammers will often request money through insecure channels, with tight deadlines to pressure their victims into sending over money without analyzing the situation.
Equitable will never call to text and request sensitive information, or ask you to wire money.
Real estate scammers have become savvier in how they impersonate legitimate parties, and it can sometimes be difficult to determine if you’re receiving genuine communication from your team.
Adding members of the transaction team to contacts is a simple and effective way of making sure you aren’t being contacted by a spoofed number or email.
If you receive communication that feels suspicious, DO NOT open any links or return any calls. Instead, independently verify the communication with the person you should be hearing from.
Confirm transaction details
Wire fraud is so devastating for consumers and appeals to scammers because it’s so difficult to recover lost money once the transaction is complete. The best way to avoid scams is to verify your process before funds ever leave accounts. Make sure you know exactly where the funds should go and how the transaction should go forward. If any plans change, let your clients know as soon as possible.
Real estate scams are prevalent and frightening, but there are measures you can take to protect yourself. And at Equitable, we are always ready to answer any questions you may have on how to keep your funds where they belong.
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