When I blogged on the topic of scams targeting home buyers last year, I was talking mostly about email scams. Unfortunately, residential real estate transactions in the U.S. are targeted by scammers, and their techniques are becoming more sophisticated, including phone calls directly to buyers. The bad guys have become incredibly good at identifying people engaged in residential real estate. Real estate brokers and agents, mortgage officers, title and escrow closers, and real estate lawyers; the list goes on and on. For relocating employees on fast deadlines, this information can be critical.
What types of scams do you need to be on the lookout for?
Spoofing and phishing are both tricks of the scammers’ trade. A scammer who has been able to identify and infiltrate the email of a legitimate real estate agent will set up an email account that looks remarkably similar to the agent (“spoofing”); firstname.lastname@example.org becomes email@example.com. The email might even contain Joe’s company logo and contact information. Sometimes there are attachments, and sometimes not. It will probably look very genuine.