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Realtors: Scams to Watch Out For

Ken Rigel

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Ken Rigel comes from true pioneer stock and was born and raised on a small farm in southern Alberta, where he learned the value of honest hard work.Te...

Jun 30 5 minutes read

Realtors, this one is for you. We are a part of a huge business. Everyone wants a piece of the pie. Including scammers. A couple of things to look out for:

Phishing Emails

Be on the lookout for weird emails that ask you to do things like send money or information. These can be very sophisticated and professional looking. CRES Insurance shares, "Phishing is growing in popularity among scammers wanting to earn a quick buck at the expense of unsuspecting real estate brokers and agents. Some schemes are so sophisticated that even the most discerning of professionals can inadvertently get scammed. 

As a busy real estate professional, you need to keep informed about the latest phishing scams, because you’re a key target. Criminals rely on the fact that  you’re juggling dozens of emails each day — and also likely managing multiple sales at once. 

Your email address and contact details are very easy to obtain, because you likely have them everywhere — on your website, signs, and marketing materials for every single listing you have." Read more here:


Unsolicited Contracts

Other realtors are getting hacked all the time. So if you get an email from a realtor that asks you to sign a contract for a deal that you have not been working on, it's likely fake. They've been hacked and you're about to get hacked too if you open that contract. If you're unsure, give the realtor a call. It's likely they will be shocked to hear they've been hacked.

Suspicious phone calls with names and local area codes

If you get a phone call from a potential client or another realtors and they start asking for information that seems fishy, it's likely a scammer posing as someone they are not. These people are usually offering a deal that seems too good to be true. It probably is! These people seem very trusting and eager to work with you, yet they've never met you. Odd right? You wouldn't do business with someone you don't know. This is a sign that something is off. 

In person encounters

This one is rare, but not unheard of. You need to be on alert at open houses especially. One way to protect yourself is to inform a neighbour that you will be showing the house and ask if he or she would keep an eye and ear open for anything out of the ordinary. It's also recommended to always walk behind people, don't lead them around the house. Keep your cell phone with you at all times and be prepared to make a call if you feel uneasy. 

The bottom line: be vigilant and you will be fine. The Chris List shares some tips for protecting yourself even further: 

  • Stay skeptical: These guys are sleazy AF. It’s crucial to keep a healthy dose of skepticism when faced with unsolicited requests for sensitive information, especially if they involve urgent or unusual circumstances related to a property transaction. 

  • Stay up-to-date: When your iPhone does that annoying thing where it tells you it’s gonna update while you’re sleeping, don’t hit the "remind me later"—keep your devices up to date to prevent falling victim to malware.  

  • Set up multi-factor authentication: I know, I know. Setting up multi-factor authentication can be frustrating as hell. But it’s saved me more times than I can count, and it is well worth the little bit of time (not as long as you think) it takes to set up. 

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