How to protect yourself from Cyber Crime
Phishing is a favored method used by cybercriminals to digitally defraud users; something that is seldom discussed is what happens to the information once it is obtained. One of the more lucrative cyber crimes is fraudulent wire transfers, which happen more often than you might think!
A wire transfer is a near real-time bank to bank transaction that allows a person to move money from their bank account directly into someone else’s account. The scam happens when a hacker will break into a licensee’s email and obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the timing of a close, the hacker will send an email to the buyer posing as the title company or the licensee with instructions in the email regarding wiring or routing information and request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly. Unfortunately, there are buyers that fall victim to this sticky scheme and have lost a good amount of money.
To help better protect all parties from cybercrime and specifically wire fraud, here are some tips from your friends at Webber Reality:
- Confirm email requests from a known party by phone or in-person to ensure the email came from them.
- Be wary of email-only wire transfer requests and any requests urgent wire requests.
- Monitor bank accounts on a daily basis.
- Immediately contact the involved banking institution and local police if there is any suspicion of wire-transfer fraud.
- Check the information included on every wire transfer -one typo could send the money to the wrong person or business.
- Clean out your email account on a regular basis. Your emails may establish patterns that hackers will use to their benefit.
- Change your usernames and passwords on a regular basis.
- Never click on links from an unverified email.
- Don’t conduct business over unsecured public wifi such as those available at a local coffee shop or hotel. Look into a mobile hotspot!
- And of course, make sure to implement the most up-to-date anti-virus software installed on your computers.
Although these are a handful of tips we have learned from our many years of experience if you would like to know more about how to protect yourself from cybercrime, reach out to Mike or Justin.