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Hackers are stealing millions from home buyers and sellers with a crafty scam

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Lounge' started by WSF-Roger, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. WSF-Roger

    WSF-Roger Active Member Webmaster

    Criminal hackers are making millions by targeting property sales, The Telegraph reports.

    People both buying and selling homes are vulnerable to the fraud — which involves faking emails to trick people into sending funds to the hackers' bank accounts.

    There have been nearly 100 incidents recorded, according to data seen by the paper, bringing in more than £10 million for the criminals responsible.

    Here's how it works:

    • First, the hacker gains access to the emails being sent between an estate agent and a prospective buyer or seller.
    • They don't do anything — yet.
    • If a house buyer is being targeted, the hacker will send an email pretending to be the estate agent as the deal is being finalised. The email will tell them that the agent’s bank details have been changed, and will provide anew account for the buyer to send funds to.
      None the wiser, the buyer sends their deposit (or perhaps even the complete funds, if they're paying in cash) over to the hacker's account.
    • If it's a seller being targeted, the hacker will email the estate agent or lawyers involved pretending to be the seller, again claiming that their bank details have changed and will provide a new account to send the funds to.
    • If the fraud goes undetected, the estate agent/lawyer sends over the cash to the criminal.
    • Typically, the money is long gone by the time the buyer and estate agent realises what has happened.
    Read more http://www.businessinsider.com/criminals-hacking-into-house-purchase-emails-to-steal-funds-2016-1

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