Cybercriminals have been targeting real estate agents and other industry professionals, so it’s important to be on the lookout and aware of this and other schemes that could be used to steal your clients (and their information), your finances or even worse, your identity. That’s precisely what we’ll explore in today’s article from Southern Connecticut Coldwell Banker Realtor Judy Szablak and founder of Szablak Consulting.
How are Cybercriminals Targeting Real Estate Professionals?
Real estate professionals have found themselves on the receiving end of the latest scheme, described as a phishing scheme designed to get real estate agents and other industry professionals to disclose sensitive information about their clients. In some cases, the phishers pretend to represent a mortgage lender or other industry professional who claims to be working with a particular client. They may ask you to “confirm” information, while prompting you to reveal additional details.
In other cases, the cybercriminals may simply pose as a potential client with a note that prompts you to click a link or attachment that installs malware onto your computer. These malware programs are quite sophisticated and they can be used to access your clients’ contact information, your email newsletter mailing list, phone numbers, saved passwords and other important information.
How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Cybercriminals
Real estate agents handle some sensitive personal information for their clients and it’s not uncommon for a Realtor to have hundreds or thousands of client email addresses and phone numbers. That information is valuable to cybercriminals, who may copy the information, selling those lists for a profit.
So consider these tips to keep your clients and yourself safe on the web:
• Never follow through on any sort of financial transaction or disbursement instructions provided via email without first confirming this information on the phone. It’s relatively easy for an individual to pose as an escrow officer or an assistant for a real estate attorney, offering “instructions” that could help them to pull off a scheme. So always confirm the matter with someone on the phone. And be sure that you initiate the call. Do not use any phone number contained within the email (verify the number independently in your contact book) and don’t ask them to call you.
• Never click on any suspicious links or attachments contained within an email. Only open documents and links from a trusted source. If you’re uncertain about the link or attachment, err on the side of caution and do not open it.
• Use caution when dealing with someone whom you’ve never met in person or who asks you to do something on their behalf. While there are some cases where a buyer in another area may reach out to a real estate agent in an area where they’re seeking to buy property, it’s important to use extreme caution when dealing with this type of individual, particularly if they ask you to visit a location or perform a task on their behalf.
Also beware of any email containing extremely poor grammar and spelling errors, especially if the email contains other cause for concern.
Tips to Grow Your Career With Szablak Consulting Founder and Realtor Judy Szablak
Getting started and finding success can be a challenge, especially in a competitive field like real estate. But this is where you can benefit from working with a career consultant like Judy Szablak. She can provide new real estate agents with valuable insights and recommendations that give them a competitive edge in today’s real estate industry. A consultant will not only offer advice and recommendations, but she will also share her valuable knowledge and expertise on topics such as online marketing for Realtors and social media marketing to get leads, to sales motivation tips and other tips to sell more homes!
Aspiring top producing real estate agents may also with consider reading Realtor Judy Szablak’s related article with advice to help you enjoy a long lasting real estate career.
If you’re ready to take your career to the next level or are just starting working as a Realtor, turn to real estate professional and consultant Judy Szablak, founder and CEO of Szablak Consulting and Best Agents Online, LLC. With Judy’s guidance and expertise, you’ll take your career to incredible places, finding success that’s beyond what you believed to be possible!
If you’re a real estate agent who is ready to elevate your sales or if you’re a realty owner or manager who’s seeking a dynamic, expert coach to bring a new element of professionalism to your sales team and your brokerage firm, turn to Realtor Judy Szablak of Szablak Consulting. Call 855.438.5839 or complete the booking form.