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Scammers Use Real Name, Fake Email Address To Target Real Estate Agents

February 21, 2017  |  by Ellen

dreamstime_xs_75529216There’s a real estate agent in Iowa who has been dealing with a case of stolen email identity for the past year and there’s not much she can do to stop it. Agent Sue Dietz found out scammers had used her name to create a fake email address that looked like it was coming from her. They would then contact other agents as though they were Sue and state in the email that they had a client to refer and could they please click on the GoogleDrive link that had listings the fake client was interested in.

Once someone clicked on the link malware would automatically download that could capture passwords and other sensitive information on the agent’s computer. Other agents have also received similar emails so she isn’t the only agent who has been targeted.

REALTOR.com has these general safety tips to keep email secure. While they can’t prevent all scams, they are good things to do as a general practice:

  • Check your sent mail, junk mail, and email account settings regularly for anomalies. Hackers often break into an email account and modify the “email forwarding” settings to forward emails to their own account.
  • Regularly purge your email of unneeded or outdated information. Save any important emails securely.
  • Avoid email as a method for sending sensitive or confidential information. Instead, consider using a secure document sharing or transaction management platform.
  • Use strong passwords that incorporate a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols.
  • Use two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication.
  • Avoid using unsecured or public Wi-Fi.

Posted in Industry News

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