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4 Protective Measures to Fight Cybercrime in Real Estate Transaction


In recent years, the real-estate transactions have moved from paper to digital platforms, increasing the fraud rates by substantial amounts. As quoted by Amy Neils on Forbes,

“The FBI reportedly received 301,580 complaints in 2017 and losses exceeded $1.4 billion, and in the real estate/rental sector alone, more than 9,600 victims lost over $56 million in the same year.”

This means, in the olden times, the number of losses incurred by the thieves and burglars can in no way be compared to the amount that can be illegally swept away by hackers and cyber thieves these days. The real estate companies need to have a system in place, which can perform real-time ID verification, reduce fraud and increase sales. A few ways in which the real-estate transactions can be secured are talked about in this article.

1.      Stay Ahead of BEC Scams

These are the types of scams which will fool the people lesser times but incur a large amount of loss in those few times. The scammers take the identity or impersonate the executives of a company, pretend to be them and request for wire transfers from the customers. This works pretty well for the first few times considering the amount of trust that a customer has on the company. To avoid a situation like this, the best thing a company can do is to adopt two-factor authentication or ID verification before proceeding with a transaction.

2.      Spread Awareness about Real Estate Frauds

Educating the employees and customers of their company is the next best thing a real estate organization can do. All email communication of the company must be monitored and not trusted that easily. Training workshops must also be conducted, wherein real estate companies can spread awareness regarding phishing frauds and BEC scams.

3.      Verify Contact and Communication Details

Neilson quoted in her article on Forbes,

"In real estate transactions, fraudsters assume the identity of the title or real estate agent handling the sale. The criminals forge the person’s email and other details that appear specific and authentic. Next, posing as the real estate or title agent, the scammers send an email to the buyer, providing wire instructions to the criminal’s bank account, not the title agency’s legitimate account." (American Land Title Association)

A desirable precaution is to perform phone number verification using an intelligently driven solution. This can be done using a KYC provider with accurate results and lowest turnaround times.

4.      Authenticate the identity of buyers and sellers

Another measure that can help real-estate agencies secure their business is through verification of buyers and sellers. Real-time ID verification must be made mandatory for sellers (agents from the company) as well as the buyers (potential customers) who are interested in purchasing the property. This means verifying the authenticity of their ID documents to catch the forged or fake documents. Facial recognition technology can also be used to ensure that the person present before the system is a true human being. Computer vision technology offered by an IDV provider for the verification system helps you discover more about the avenues of Artificial Intelligence, increases accuracy and provides effective results.

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