Cybersecurity Risks in Real Estate

Like the rest of the world, the real estate industry has embraced technology to revolutionize its operations, enhance customer experiences, and streamline business processes. Unfortunately, along with this digital world comes an increasing risk of cybercrime. And real estate transactions seem to be a popular target.  

For BesTitle, our clients, and real estate professionals alike, safeguarding against these risks is critical to maintaining trust and security throughout transactions. The landscape of cyber threats is evolving rapidly, making it important to not only stay informed and vigilant but proactively implement measures to protect against cybercrime.  

Understanding the Threat of Cybersecurity

Real estate scams have evolved with advancements in technology, with scammers leveraging tools like artificial intelligence (AI) to carry out more sophisticated schemes utilizing increasingly deceptive tactics to target unsuspecting individuals. Because buying and selling real estate is an emotional process, your clients rely on you to be a trusted confidant. As you make the final preparations to close the transaction, you can help protect your clients from becoming victims of cybercriminals.  
 

Protecting Against Cybercrime 

One of the best ways to protect yourself and your clients from cybercrimes is to keep up with the latest threats and best practices to stay secure.  

  • The key to prevention is education. Inform your clients about the risks associated with wire fraud. Ensure they are aware of the common tactics scammers use and emphasize the importance of verifying any financial requests through multiple channels. 
     
  • Keep all communication secure. Encourage secure communication channels, such as encrypted emails and phone calls, when discussing sensitive financial information. Take the time to look for signs of inauthenticity in email and text communications, such as: 
  • Unsolicited or unexpected emails/texts 
  • Unknown or suspicious sender addresses 
  • Generic greetings instead of personalized ones 
  • Urgent requests for immediate action 
  • Spelling or grammar errors 
  • Mismatched URLs 
  • Unexpected attachments 
  • Requests for sensitive information 
  • Unusual sender requests 
  • Inconsistencies in branding or formatting 
     
  • Be alert for fake listings. If a listing seems too good to be true, it probably is. Conduct thorough research to verify property details and ownership from reputable sources and request additional information from sellers to avoid falling victim to fake listings. 
  • Implement two-factor authentication. Utilize added security features for all email accounts and online platforms used during the transaction process. This adds an extra layer of security to prevent unauthorized access. 
     
  • Establish a secure line of communication. Connect your clients with the title company to verify wiring instructions before any funds are transferred. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity, staying informed and proactive is key to recognizing and avoiding potential threats. By implementing robust security measures, maintaining vigilance, and fostering a culture of cyber awareness, you can navigate real estate transactions with confidence and peace of mind. 

BesTitle has been serving Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia for over 30 years. We believe that everyone deserves an easy, safe, and stress-free transaction. Contact us today to get started. 

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