According to the FBI, Americans lost more than $50 million to real estate scams in 2018, up 1,000 percent since 2015. In the FBI’s annual 2019 Internet Crime Report, they recorded a record 467,361 complaints of suspected Internet crime, with reported losses in excess of $3.5 billion. The top three crime types reported by victims in 2019 were phishing/vishing/smishing/pharming, non-payment/non-delivery, and extortion.
“Wire fraud, email hacking, phishing scams, and other various digital attacks on the real estate industry continue to threaten our business and client assets,” said McManamy Jackson Hollis Partner Stephen Jackson. “For us, the portal is a non-negotiable in doing business in today’s digitally-compromised world.”
“Unlike other industries that share sensitive financial information, no laws require real estate businesses to implement information security programs which put the real estate industry in the crosshairs of criminals and bad actors,” continued Jackson.
McManamy Jackson Hollis has invested in the latest, cutting-edge technology to protect clients’ data and financial information.
“Whether you’re a buyer, seller, agent, lender or any other party included in a real estate transaction involving our firm, we want you to know we are doing everything we can to ensure our closing transactions are protected,” said McManamy Jackson Hollis Partner Douglas P. McManamy. “It’s not enough to naively think it won’t happen. The threat is real and we have to be vigilant and hope our clients and community as a whole will adopt this same mindset.”
Common real estate industry scams include misdirecting wire transfers by compromising a business email. In this situation, cybercriminals pretend to be a business counterpart and direct wire funds to criminal bank accounts. Bad actors can also hold computer systems hostage, also known as Ransomware or a malware that encrypts a business’s computer data, holding the info hostage until a ransom is paid.
“Buying a home is a reason to celebrate and we want to keep it that way,” said McManamy. “The MJH client portal is a huge step in doing just that – especially for buyers and sellers who typically do not have access to secure email or advanced security measures like many businesses.”
For more information, please visit our Portal here.