08/23/22

3 Ways to Ward off Scammers

As the protector of your transaction and property rights for years to come, our team takes fighting fraud and other scams seriously.

That’s why we’ve talked about this issue a lot over the years.  Thank you for your collective efforts in helping keep our buyers and sellers safe. Because wire fraud is such an important issue to us, we also wanted to spotlight a recent 300 percent spike in real estate-related scam calls. This article isn’t on wire fraud specifically, but it includes the details on other similar schemes we should all have on our radar.

According to the piece, tech provider First Orion estimated more than 100 billion scam phone calls to Americans’ cell phones during the first six months of 2022. Not all of those were real-estate related, but a lot were.

The bottom line? Unsolicited calls asking about warranties, safety, and home improvements should be met with a heavy dose of skepticism, especially if the caller claims to be a “homeowner’s associate” or something just as vague – but official – sounding.

So how can someone ward off one of these scams? Glad you asked!

Don’t answer unknown numbers. We’re all getting pretty good at this, but it’s worth a reminder. If it’s important enough, there will be a voicemail. Another tip? You can always Google the phone number to see if it’s been associated with any scams in the past. 

Never give out personal information to an unknown caller or emailer. We’ve tried to hit on this a lot when talking about wire fraud, but it’s worth repeating. Always confirm how your information is being used and verify the legitimacy of any request. After all, hanging up is always an option. Be extra careful with your Social Security number, birthdate and banking information. 

Know that legitimate callers won’t demand a specific form of payment. If there is a request to pay using a gift card (Amazon, iTunes or those prepaid debit cards), it’s safe to assume it’s a scam. 

While our team thought it was important to talk about this issue, don’t think that we can relax when it comes to wire fraud either. Cybercriminals are a threat to our customers – and everyone else – on multiple fronts, and we must keep all the conversations going. If you have any questions about fraud, or anything, else, please reach out to us anytime!

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