Don’t become a victim.

Buying or selling a Coachella Valley home? Don’t become a victim.

 

It’s no secret – cyber-criminals are hard at work thinking up new ways to part unsuspecting citizens from both their money and their identities.

Unfortunately, real estate transactions offer them a wealth of opportunity.

Today, with the popularity of DocuSign and the number of individuals and businesses communicating via email, buyers and sellers are more at risk than ever before.

All it takes is a skilled hacker to tap into a real estate brokerage or title company’s email, and these criminals can gain a wealth of information.

They can learn your personally identifiable information (PII) –andthey can make off with your money.

Hackers have learned to tap into title company email to divert their messages and replace them with messages of their own. As a consequence, those wire instructions telling you where to send your down payment funds may well be directing your money to an off-shore account where it will disappear into the hands of criminals forever.

More than one potential home buyer has lost their entire savings to these crooks – and of course they also lost the opportunity to buy the home of their dreams.

More than one seller has had their newly enriched bank account emptied in the same manner.

It’s up to you to be aware of the danger and to be on the lookout for suspicious activities. It’s also up to you to insist that wiring instructions for your transaction are given to you in a secure manner. The best and safest way is in person. Go to your lender or the title company and get those instructions in writing.

Next best is via a phone call that you initiate to the number posted on the company website or given to you by your lender or your agent. As an alternative, the information could come to you via FedEx.

Beware of instructions that reach you via email. Do not follow those instructions until or unless you’ve verified their authenticity by speaking with a person you know to be legitimate. Don’t ever call the number listed at the bottom of the instructions.

Why? If the instructions are bogus, the phone number will be bogus as well.

A big red flag:Last minute changes. If you receive a message requesting a partial payment in advance, specifying a change in deadlines, or giving new wire transfer instructions, ignore it until you’ve spoken with your agent.

You can’t be too careful in today’s world of cyber-criminals. That’s why I will never ask for nor transmit sensitive information via email. It’s simply not smart.

You can trust me, Mark Langenwalter, to have your personal security as my top priority. I can recommend quality, reliable individuals to help you with safe and secure housing transactions.

Contact Mark Langenwalter for your Coachella Valley Real Estate needs. I can make your Palm Desert, La Quinta, Rancho Mirage, and Indian Wells dream home desires come true! Call Mark at (760) 413-9236.