Homebuyers beware: Putting a down payment on a home could cost you your life savings.
Online criminals have been impersonating real estate agents online and tricking buyers into sending money into offshore accounts, according to MarketWatch. To pull it off, scammers hack into real estate agents emails and then quietly monitor communications, waiting until they are about to close on a deal. The scammer then sends buyers money wiring instructions under the identity of the agent, which routes the payment to offshore accounts.
“One mistake could cost you your life savings,” said Al Sargent, senior director of product marketing at secure login company OneLogin who is familiar with the process. “And there is little-to-no recourse to be taken. Hackers are attracted to it because it’s a lot of money protected by very little security — this is like banks shipping money around in a convertible instead of an armored vehicle.”