Wire Fraud in Real Estate??

What is the worst thing that could happen to a home buyer in the home buying process?  In my opinion, losing your downpayment and your closing costs completely due to wire fraud.  This could mean losing years of savings for many of us.

Every year, there are innocent online users who lose about $1 billion dollars due to cyber security breaches.  Out of that, $200 – 300 million dollars are lost in real estate transactions in the US.  Anywhere between 10,000 to 15,000 innocent buyers become the victims, lose their money and are not able to buy their homes.  I just can’t imagine what those buyers would be going through…

How hackers do this:

The hackers use spoofing and/or phishing.  They might even have the email login information of the people who are involved in the transactions.  Escrow officer, attorney, realtor, loan officer and the buyer.  Hackers intercept the fund wiring information email and replace the escrow bank account with their own bank account.  Or, sending emails from accounts that look just like the escrow’s email address.  It can be really hard to tell.

How to prevent these attack to home buyers:

  1. Use cashier’s check.  Go to the bank, cut a cashier’s check and deliver it to the escrow office in person.  This way, there’s No Entry Point for the hackers.
  2. If you have to wire, pick up printed wiring information from your escrow office when you go to deposit the earnest money.  Again, no Entry Point.  Paper copy wins here again.
  3. If you can’t visit the escrow office (out of town, etc), then call the escrow office.  Talk to the escrow officer to verify the account info.  The key here is to make the outbound call, not inbound call which can be faked by hackers.  I suppose this could be unsafe if hackers are routing calls, Mission Impossible style.  Let’s hope that they are not there yet, but let’s not risk it.
  4. Use end-to-end encrypted texting apps like Signal if you have to text.  Regular texts can be easily hacked.
  5. Use DRM technique (“Don’t Rush Me” from a tennis book by Brad Gilbert).  A hacker’s message will likely add high urgency like, “to avoid delay of closing, send the wiring by the end of today…”  Delaying the closing is better than losing the funds.  Listen to your gut and be early and/or delay the closing by extending the closing date, so no hackers can rush you.

Here are some day-to-day cyber security practices:

  1. Don’t use public wi-fi at places like Starbucks or hotels.  You will be giving Entry Points to hackers.  Some viruses can read your every key stroke, including your passwords.  If you have to use public wi-fi, use VPN (Virtual Private Network) made by reputable companies.
  2. Change passwords often on your email and website login at least several times a year, with phrase-like long passwords with a mix of capital and lower case letters and special characters. Don’t save the passwords on the computer files.  Turn on 2-step verifications while you’re at it.
  3. Don’t pick up phone calls from unknown numbers.
  4. Don’t click any links from unknown number texts.

For realtors, do not get involved in forwarding any wiring info.  Your email could be the Entry Point for the hackers.  Also, do everything listed above and more to protect the buyers.

Lastly, hackers will use more advanced tricks in the future, so always educate yourself with a No-Entry-Point approach to your online living.

For the hackers, do something better with your life.

From empty space to work space: see how Shawn does it

If you are needing some work space, take a look at a video I did of a condo I listed, which gives some ideas about how to use a small space.

I would probably use this as my main workspace. You could probably put, like, a 70 inches desk, you know, with a double monitor. Then, nice speakers right there. I could put a curtain here, or maybe I could put up a wall. Or some kind of divider, or just leave it alone. 

And having this south-facing [window], looking at the southern sky, with a bunch of sun, I think it’s going to be a very very productive workspace.

What To Do With “Hard to sell homes” 팔기 힘든 집들은 어떻게?

Here’s our selling approach on properties that didn’t sell previously.

  1. Excellent online presentation of the home
  2. Focus on strengths of the property, not weaknesses
  3. Persistent marketing
  4. Constant communication
  5. Make necessary adjustments
  6. “Turn every stone” selling approach
  7. Network with top-selling agents
  8. Local knowledge
  9. Negotiation skills
  10. Selling since 2008 “learned business & survived through the market crash.”
  11. Commitment to provide excellent service to clients

Call/text 503-515-4499 or fill out the form below to get it sold.

여기에 “문제 해결” 방식의 부동산 판매 방법입니다.

  1. 가장 우수한 온라인 정보물 만들기
  2. 집의 장점만 부각
  3. 지속적인 마케팅
  4. 저속적인 고객 정보 드리기
  5. 매매자 반응에 따른 정보 조정
  6. 세심히 모든 가능성을 점검하는 마케팅
  7. 경험있는 부동산 업자의 인맥
  8. 수준 높은 지역 정보
  9. 협상 기술
  10. 2008년에 시작 “시장이 어려울때 배운 지식과 기술”
  11. 헌신적으로 고객을 모시는 노력


schedule your appointment here

전화/문자 503-515-4499 이나 밑에 있는 폼으로 연락주세요!

Contact Shawn for free consultation today!