Hackers are targeting the real estate sector, says the FBI.
Real estate agents are being targeted by hackers, who use the email accounts to learn when a home is about to close, then email clients new wiring instructions shortly before the transaction. The new wiring instructions often direct the funds to bank accounts outside the country.
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According to the FBI, victims lost over $149 million to real estate fraud in 2018. Texas was second only to California for the number of internet crime victims.
Officials recommend being wary of any last-minute changes and calling your agent or title company over previously established phone numbers to verify any changes if something seems off. In addition, avoid giving out your financial information over unsecured websites by making sure the URL begins with "https" — the "s" stands for "secure."
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