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Cyberattacks in the Real Estate Industry

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Hackers are targeting real estate industry to scam money from real estate companies. The spike in the attacks is due to the million-dollar transactions that are being made in the industry. Most scammers want to bypass various security codes and channel the money to their accounts.

Most real estate companies such as Movoto.com are installing the best measures to prevent major cyberattacks.

How are hackers scamming money from the real estate industry?

Sending of malicious emails

The fraudsters are identifying a target real estate company and sending malicious emails to the employees. The emails aim at convincing the employee to deposit a certain amount of money into their bank accounts.  In most instances, the scammers impersonate their identity and pretend to be the CEO of the company.

The emails also target the customers in a particular company. The email aim to convince a client to deposit a certain amount as a downpayment for a property. Most clients end up depositing money to the scammer’s bank accounts unknowingly.

To mitigate such risks, it is essential to verify the correct details of the email sender. It would be best if you also established a second mode of communication to ensure the email sender is not a hacker.

Mortgage scams

The process of obtaining a mortgage from a specific financial institution or company is procedural. Scammers take advantage of that to con various customers. In their attempt, they can send emails to the clients pretending to be the mortgage company and requesting down payment.  The email may contain certain instructions on how to wire the money and the bank account details.

To overcome such pitfalls, you need to contact your mortgage company and investigate the email sent. You can also try to identify the identity of the person posting the email before making any transactions. 

Ransomware

It is a rare type of software that hackers design to block access to information on an electronic device until a specific amount of money is paid. The scammers encrypt the data, and you cannot access it. Also, they can end up stealing vital information from your device.

The hackers send malicious emails to the user of the device. The user may click on the email and activate the software without knowing—most ransomware targets real estate companies by sending the emails to their employees.

Employees should avoid opening emails that their origin is questionable. Also, the company should store its data in an encrypted form that the scammers cannot access.

Generic malware

Malware is software that is designed to cause effects on the installed device. It can do so by disrupting the equipment’s normal functioning or gaining unauthorized access to the vital information on the device. In most instances, malware that targets real estate agents and customers aims at obtaining bank account information, social security numbers, and other transaction information. 

If the unauthorized third party has such information, they can directly withdraw money from the various bank accounts. Through the software, they can be able to monitor the activities of the user of the device. 

All employees in the real estate industry should have updated antivirus software that detects malware in a system. Also, they should regularly update their software to ensure that they have software with robust security.

Cloud computing service provider attacks

Cloud computing service providers offer companies infrastructure, networks, or business applications. If the scammers can attack the providers of services to the real estate company, they can access the company’s data.

It is essential to ensure that the company which is offering such services has robust security systems. If it is vulnerable to cyber-attacks, it will also put your company at risk of the same.

How to prevent cyberattacks in the real estate industry?

  • Train your staff and clients-train your personnel and clients and equip them with knowledge on how to handle the threats.
  • Back up your data-it is crucial because even if the hackers steal your data, you will be able to restore it quickly.
  • Strengthen your security system-most scammers target security systems that have weaknesses. Ensure your system is immune to attackers by installing strong passwords and codes. You can also regulate the number of employees who can access vital company’s data.
  • Contract with genuine third parties-ensure that your service providers are legitimate and not vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
  • Take up cyber liability insurance– you can take up an insurance cover that will compensate you in case of any attacks on your system.

Conclusion

Hackers are targeting real estate through professional cyber attacks. It is essential for you as the real estate agent to strategize measures that will make your system immune to suck cyber attacks. You also need to educate your staff and customers in the best way to avoid being a target of fraudulent activities. Lastly, ensure you have an insurance cover to compensate all looses when such misfortunes occur. 

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