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Victims Sound The Alarm As Real Estate Fraud Is On The Rise: ‘Our Money Was Just Gone’

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Real estate fraud is on the rise, with 1 in 20 Americans falling victim to such scams, resulting in a median loss of over $70,000.

Fraudsters exploit public records and pose as legitimate contacts to steal from unsuspecting consumers during real estate transactions.

Victims often have little recourse, and the FBI reports record losses totaling $446.1 million in 2022.

Many consumers are unaware of these risks, and there is a lack of education on the subject.

The co-founder of CertifID advises high alertness regarding all communication and emphasizes the need for increased awareness and caution.

“If you are a first time homebuyer entering into a real estate transaction, you need to be made aware you are entering one of the biggest cybercrime environments that we’ve ever seen today,” CertifID co-founder and CEO Tyler Adams said.

“You have to be on high alert with every email that you get from your real estate agents, you have to be on high alert with every communication they get from your title company, because at any point, somebody’s communication could be compromised or broken down, and you could start receiving emails that look like they’re coming from one of those trusted parties when they’re not.”

“That’s where we see the consumer get hurt the most, because they received communication convincing them to send money to a fraudulent account or entity, and they believe it to be true,” he said.

“So everybody’s at risk here as a result of typically phishing schemes that lead to email compromises that then lead to these sorts of scenarios,” he said.

There is a call for more proactive measures, such as in-person wire verification, to prevent such fraudulent activities.

“I feel like there should be some more steps they should be taking or at least make it possible to do certified checks or something,” one expert said. “I don’t know, that doesn’t seem too crazy to me.”

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