Late last night, I got the oddest email, made to look like it was coming from my broker with an alarming message and a link to follow. No, I didn't follow it! But it did remind me of the fraud that exists and challenges the real estate world these days. Our Rochester Hills office manager, the wonderful Tom Kotzian, and our title insurance partner Title One have been working with us to help us help our clients avoid following fraudulent instructions.
It all starts with an email such as the one I've copied above. Someone is accusing us of fraud against his family! And I need to make it stop! But....even though the email address says it's from my broker, we don't have an internal email system that looks like this. The email itself doesn't actually make all that much sense. And then there is....the link. The whole thing is designed to get me worked up enough to click that link without thinking. And then who knows what will happen. I'll be phished for sure, my passwords stolen? My email address pirated?
Clients get emails like this, too. The most common and dangerous is an email that looks like it's from a Title company or a Lender, or even the Realtor, telling the client that closing instructions have changed and giving a new link to follow or a new place to wire closing funds. PLEASE DO NOT DO CLICK THAT LINK. DO NOT WIRE THOSE FUNDS. Look closely at the email. Does it really make sense? Probably not.
Your Realtor will not send you links to follow without talking to you first. Your closing funds wiring information will come directly - face to face- from your lender or the Title Company and they WILL NOT CHANGE at the last minute. If you ever get something that asks you to click or asks you to send money somewhere, call the person you have been working with at the number you have used before.
Talk with us about more steps you can take to protect yourself from fraud during the real estate transaction.