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Help Clients Stay a Step Ahead of Scammers

Every buyer should be warned upfront about potential wire scams related to closing, but agents should warn customers about other potential scams too.

NEW YORK – Real estate agents can help protect their clients from fraud, writes Boardman Realty broker/owner Teresa Boardman. She says agents should alert their customers about wire fraud scams, and to keep an eye out for fake buyer text messages.

“The way that I handle these is to report them as spam and block the number,” Boardman says. “Some text messages offer the option of replying with ‘stop’ to opt-out, (but) I never send any kind of reply. Some of the messages are from legitimate businesses that buy real estate, but I am not obligated to sort them out.”

Most experts says scams will become more sophisticated and convincing thanks to artificial intelligence (AI), and Boardman says people must resign themselves “to the idea that we can no longer believe or trust anything we hear or read – and only some of what we see.”

Agents should regularly visit the U.S. Federal Trade Commission website or to keep apprised of the latest scams, while the National Association of Realtors has a data privacy and security toolkit to help agents know their potential responsibilities and liability for client data or information.

“In general, locks on doors, passwords and two-factor authentication are our friends,” Boardman writes. “Do not re-use passwords and keep installing those computer updates and security patches. Never click on a link in an email or text message. Above all, be careful out there and take extreme care of client data.”

Source: Inman (04/25/23) Boardman, Teresa

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