RE/MAX Elite and Prestige Title of Brevard teamed up to present a Cyber Fraud seminar on August 25th in Suntree. The seminar was formed to educate Realtors on the dangers of wire fraud email scams that are currently plaguing the Real Estate industry.
The Cyber Fraud seminar was in direct response to a notice sent out by the Florida Board of Realtors in August warning of this scam. Hackers are contacting individuals involved in actual real estate transactions and trick them by using sophisticated language and similar email addresses/logos of real estate and title companies. It has been reported that individuals across the U.S. have lost $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 and $220K by wiring money to impostors in other countries.
RE/MAX Elite immediately took steps to halt these hackers in their tracks and protect their clients. Management quickly distributed a Wire Fraud Advisory disclosure form to the company, as well as a Wire Fraud Notice by Florida Board of Realtors for clients so they do not become their next victims. Prestige Title followed up in a timely manner by organizing a "Lunch and Learn" and handing out informational flyers that Realtors can share with their clients. Approximately 35 participants gathered at the Suntree office on Friday to learn how to protect their clients from falling prey to the scheme.
Some of the tips presented by Prestige include:
- BE VIGILANT. Call, don't email. Confirm your wiring instructions by phone, using a known number before transferring funds. Don't use phone numbers or click links from the email.
- BE SUSPICIOUS. It's uncommon for title companies to exchange payment info by email.
- PROTECT YOUR MONEY. Ask the bank to confirm the other party's name on the account before sending the payment.
- CONFIRM EVERYTHING. If you have wired money within 4 to 8 hours, call the title company or real estate agent to confirm they received it.
If it is too late and you have fallen victim to the wire fraud scam, Prestige Title of Brevard recommends that you immediately call your bank and have them issue a recall notice for your wire transfer, report the crime to www.IC3.gov (FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center), and file a report with the police.