Real Estate and Cyber Security - 3 Things YOU Can Do to Stay Safe
Arrowhead Title has been handling real estate closings at Lake of the Ozarks since 1984. We have seen huge advances in technology in that time, which have in turn, created greater expectations from our clients. One example is the higher demand in today’s market for things like e-closings, online notarizations, and paperless closings. These virtual tools can make it so much easier and quicker to get everyone involved to the closing table. We appreciate the convenience this offers our clients, and they appreciate having a better closing experience. But while the real estate industry is embracing more technology, cybercriminals are ramping up their game as well. Because of the large amount of money involved in a real estate transaction, real estate closings are a popular target for cybercriminals. If you are interested in learning how to protect your identity and your money while closing on a house at Lake of the Ozarks, please continue reading this blog!
Know Your Vulnerabilities
Criminals know your vulnerabilities, so you should too. They know that the buyers and sellers will be eager to help the process along by responding readily to correspondence. They also know that buyers and sellers are excited and potentially distracted emotionally, making them more vulnerable to missing small details. If a cybercriminal can exploit those vulnerabilities they may have access to all of the money that the seller is paying the buyer at the real estate closing.
Protect your Personal Information
You will be asked to share a lot of personal information during the course of your real estate closing. You will get to know all the parties involved and be comfortable with them. However, it is vitally important that with each response you are absolutely sure that it is your realtor, title agent, etc., and not a third party you are communicating with. Sometimes, a simple phone call is all it takes to confirm that an email is legit. Is definitely better to be safe than sorry.
Be On Guard for Phishing
The purpose behind phishing schemes targeting real estate transactions is to intercept the money the seller should be receiving. It begins with a cybercriminal hacking the email account of one of the legitimate parties to the transaction. At some point, the criminal will request a wire transfer or send instructions regarding how the money will be transferred. Or they may redirect the original money transfer and make it appear as if it is going to the proper account when it is actually going into the criminal's account. The unfortunate thing is, once the money is gone it is usually unrecoverable. That is an unimaginable loss for the buyer wiring the funds. It is best not to trust an email alone when it comes to any instructions regarding money transfers. Talk to your trusted title agent at Lake of the Ozarks to be sure any time you receive an email regarding the transfer of funds or sharing of personal information.
Knowledge is Power!
At Arrowhead Title, we consider the expense of cyber security IT a cost of doing business. We are very serious about protecting our clients and their investment. We are also dedicated to keeping our clients in the know so they are aware of the dangers and know how to recognize them as well as what to do (or not to do). When you choose Arrowhead Title to handle your real estate closing, you can be sure that we will employ all of the latest technology to protect your personal information and your investment. We will also empower you with the knowledge to protect yourself in every way you can, too. Consider us your partner in the process of buying or selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks. If you found this blog helpful and would like to hear more tips and information from our title company about the real estate market at Lake of the Ozarks, don’t forget to follow us on your favorite social media channel using the links below.
750 Bagnell Dam Blvd Suite B
Lake Ozark, MO 65049