Maybe being old fashioned is best with cyber crime in real estate

    I remember back in 1998 when fax machines weren’t a thing yet. They were very expensive and many did not trust them to do a complete job.

    It reminded me of the “witch trials” where some people got upset and did not trust things they did not understand.

    Trust me when I say no Fax machines were burned at the stake. I promise.

    At those times offers were also hand delivered to the other agent by the buyer’s agent. The presentation typically involved all parties to the transaction. The homeowners, the buyers, the realtor for the home buyer and the realtor for the sellers, plus the buyer’s lender, all were present.

    Because of that presentation model we were all able to come to an agreement, or not, within a short time after the meeting. Also, the names corresponded to real people. Not just paper renditions.

    At that time, a buyer’s deposit was taken via check and that check was deposited into the real estate companies deposit account. It was logged and all was official. The check would make the move from the company’s safe, to their bank, from their bank to the specific escrow company, if all worked out. If the deal did not happen, the buyer’s deposit money would be returned to them via check from the real estate company. “It was cumbersome – but no one stole any money…”

    The other “funds” required to close escrow, down payment, etc – those monies were taken care of by a cashiers check drawn from the accounts containing them by the buyer. I remember stating to a home buyer, “you have until five pm to bring a cashiers-check to escrow, made payable to ABC escrow and in the amount of $XXX.xx – make sure you also have the bank put the escrow number and address(if it fits) in the memo portion of the cashiers check.”

    No money ever was stolen. Sometimes it was transferred to the wrong account number by a typo but never stolen by hackers.

    Today the hacking world is doing a great job at intercepting emails containing sensitive information concerning real estate transactions which are in process. They are doing this by either installing a “coded spy” within a real estate agent, escrow agents, a title officer’s, email accounts.

    Then the “spy” keeps watch on when an email containing “wiring instructions” enter’s the email or is typed up. That email is intercepted and held, even though it shows as “sent”.

    The attachment related to the wiring instructions is then removed and replaced with the cyber-criminals wiring instructions.

    When the home buyer/seller receives it, they trust it because it came from an email address which they know. They then adhere to the wiring instructions without question or concern.

    In most cases that money is not recoverable. And in most cases that money is the last of what the buyers/sellers had to use to close their transactions.

    Enter the OLD WAY

    How about a true “cashiers check”? Not a “bank check”, it will have to be a cashiers check. Verify with the escrow company what other ways, besides wiring, they will accept the money to move from account a to account b.

    In addition, if you are someone who will be making money from the real estate transaction, you may want to rethink your having the proceeds wired to your account.

    Escrow, at least the escrow companies we work with, will always either send a check per the client’s request or allow for one to be picked up.

    OMT – another suggestion, go and pick up the check. I don’t even trust the mail 🙂

    I’m Connor MacIvor and I want your business when it comes to buying and or selling real estate in the Santa Clarita Valley. Please reach out to me when you are ready and I’ll take great care of you.

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    Paris and Connor MacIvor

    Connor and Paris MacIvor are in the Top 1% of Realtors Nationwide, starting their real estate business in 1998 with RE/MAX Gateway - Santa Clarita Valley and Valencia CA. Their becoming licensed real estate consultants and representatives came from the horrible experience they had when they bought their first home. There were many things that the agent they had hired did not explain and disclose, which per law he should have. Getting that agent on the phone after they closed escrow and after he had gotten paid was impossible. Paris and Connor called the broker, the board of realtors, the office manager and all they received was the promise of a phone call back. The remedy did come, but not as fast and in the way they wanted. That act - that bad agent was the reason why Paris and Connor became Realtors. That was all they needed to vow to never let the same fate befall anyone else, that befell them. Today Connor and Paris are focused on client service. Protection and top-shelf service with regard to their real estate clientele. They primarily work within the Santa Clarita Valley and Valencia CA. However, for a referral, where 80+ of their business is referrals they have License and Will Travel to other parts of Ventura County, Los Angeles County, and Orange County to handle real estate transactions for those who trust their real estate operation. Writing on their Real Estate Blog is a passion. SCVnest.com/blog is where you will find over 10,000 real estate articles. Go to SCVnest.com/radio to listen to their latest real estate radio broadcast.

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