What dangers (physical or financial) do Realtors face? What should clients do/be more aware of and why does it matter?
Real estate transactions involve large flows of money, which attracts persistent attempts at fraud and theft.
Phishing is defined as the act of defrauding an account holder of financial information online, and it takes several forms in the real estate industry. One example: there is a small but growing scheme targeted at buyers who receive emails, allegedly from an escrow company, directing the buyers to transmit money for their purchase transactions, often to an off-shore account. The best way for a buyer to prevent this theft is call their escrow officer and verbally confirm the correct account number to receive the wired funds.
Everyone who is online can be subject to phishing attacks via email that instruct them to click on a link to a malicious website where they are directed to provide personal information or launch a crippling computer virus.
Both clients and realtors can guard against pilfering at open houses by locking away valuables including laptops, tablets, mobile phones, jewelry and prescription drugs.
For Agents, there is inherent danger in the process of showing properties, especially to strangers in empty houses. Both male and female agents are advised to know self-defense and be ready to contact the police in an emergency. Agents should tell others when they are going to be out showing properties.