All Posts Tagged: email

Business scam poses threat for real estate transactions

David Pollino
Security

Are you buying a new home? Among the many related details you may be considering, add this caution: Criminals may use the transaction to steal from you.

view from above as older couple looks at a laptop together while going through financial paperwork.It’s a new twist in the scam known as business email compromise, or masquerading, that I have been blogging about for a few years.  It basically involves someone sending you an email asking for money to be sent under false pretenses, and it’s a $5 billion problem. That is $5 billion in actual losses, not just fraudulent transactions. (Check out our infographic for more information.)

Here are some ways to help avoid being a victim of this type of scam during a real estate transaction:

  • Do not send funds based on an email. If you get an email with wire instructions, pick up the phone and verify all the details, especially the bank and account numbers.
  • Call to verify the receipt of funds. If you were the victim of a scam or a mistake was made, the earlier you detect it (minutes or hours), the better chance you have to recall the funds.
  • Be careful clicking on links. Real estate transactions involve a lot of paperwork, and much of that paperwork is delivered online. Instead of clicking the links, go directly to the site. See this blog post for more information.
  • Protect your email. Turn on 2-factor authentication for email to keep the criminals out.
  • Check the email address. In some cases, criminals will set up an email address very close to the real recipient. When you reply, replace the email from the sender with the known email address from your address book or a business card.

Just in case you think this may be an isolated trend rather than a serious threat, consider this: The FBI has stated that on average $5.4 million is stolen every month in real estate-related scams in the Los Angeles area.

I hope you’ll follow these steps and stay #BeCyberSafe during your house-hunting activities.

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New breach prompts widespread phishing alerts

David Pollino
Security
Young business woman leaning in to look more closely at what

As you may have read, hackers breached DocuSign’s systems and stole email addresses that were soon targeted with phishing emails.

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Are you still using your password from 2013?

David Pollino
Security
Screen showing several blue strings of numeric code, with red "data breach" and "cyber attack" inserted.

If you’re a Yahoo! user, I hope you’re not using the same password as you did in 2013.

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Have you checked your frequent flyer miles lately?

David Pollino
Security
Rear view of an airplane coming in for a landing at sunset.

Miles and points are currency, as they can be used for many real-world transactions such as flights, shopping, gift cards, and even cash.

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Charity scams: Make sure your money gets to the right place

David Pollino
Security
Young, smiling woman with clipboard greeting an older woman who is a potential donor at a charity event.

Before you donate, make sure you’re dealing with a genuine organization because scammers posing as nonprofits are after your money, too.

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