Buying a house can be stressful, but thanks to hackers the stress level for some is on a whole new level.
“We’ve seen a significant increase, especially in the last few months, of cyber security fraud,” said Edina Realty CEO Greg Mason. Mason is warning people about a relatively new scam that is costing home buyers thousands. “It’s become a greater target,” he said of real estate transactions.
Here’s how it works. A scammer sends an email to a consumer or a realtor with a fraudulent link attached to it. Once they click on the link, the crook has access to personal information. With that info they send a real-looking email to the buyer asking them to wire their down payment. Often the email comes days before the closing of the sale, real estate officials say.
“We’ve had two situations recently and we’ve had small loses that we’ve taken care of and covered for our consumers,” he said. This isn’t just a local issue, said Chris Galler, the CEO for Minnesota Realtor’s Association. “The east and west coasts get the worst of it for some reason,” he said.