Real estate hacking scam tricks clients

Posted at 7:05 PM, May 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-26 19:05:38-04

Real estate agents are warning you of a growing scam in Southwest Florida that may cost you thousands of dollars. 

It involves hackers sending you emails that look like they are from your agent but they are actually from crooks who are after your money. 

"These people monitor that account so as soon as that money hits, it's overseas," said Jackie Hooker with TD Title.

Real estate agents tell 4 In Your Corner hackers are intercepting emails between you and your agent, targeting buyers and sellers by sending emails that appear to be from someone you think you know.

"They use that fake email to change some type of instruction or curve the situation so they get more information out of you," Hooker said. 

That is information scammers are using to steal your money. 

"Usually on a sale, it's a nominal amount of money. It's not $20 or $50. It's not replaceable," Hooker said. 

Local and federal law enforcement are aware of the tricks, but often aren't able to get your money back once it's gone. 

"There's no FBI tracing, there's no police report that's going to save it. It's gone," Hooker said. 

The National Association of Realtors recommends you refrain from sending sensitive information via email. Never trust an email just because it looks legit -- scammers are pros at this. Always call the person on the other end before you wire money. 

"...Now we have to go back to relaying on that phone communication because of these types of scams that are going on," Hooker said.