Cyber fraud is now a harsh reality of life for us, as the criminal hackers focus with even more precision on stealing the large sums of money that flow in the property industry.
Hackers are targeting purchasers of properties who are paying deposits, transfer costs, or the balance of the purchase price, but the attacks are not limited to this area.
The criminals hack into email accounts, intercept legitimate emails which contain banking details, amend these banking details and send the emails on. If the client is not vigilant, the client then pays into the criminal’s account. It is always recommended to enable 2 step verification on email accounts.
To counter these attacks, we have now implemented a revised system to make provision for our purchasers to be given our trust account banking details on 4 occasions, in three ways, so that they can cross-reference and ensure that the account details are correct. We are also highlighting the risks of cyber fraud to make the clients even more aware, so that they can protect themselves.
As an estate agent you can add an additional layer of security to the process by doing the following:
- Please do not send any email requests for the deposit to be paid into our trust account. Your email account might have been hacked. Allow us to do this using our super secure system.
- Please warn the purchaser of the risks involved in making large payments via EFT on the strength of emails that might be hacked.
- Please tell the purchaser that we will implement a 4-stage verification process to give the bank details to them and tell them to expect up to 4 communications from us on the matter of banking details.
We take our responsibility to safeguard our clients very seriously and we trust that this will give you increased peace of mind when doing business with us.
Miltons Matsemela Inc