Cybercrime is on the rise. Unfortunately, most of these crimes stick around long after the infraction is committed. It’s important to understand the most common methods of cybercrimes in the real estate industry to know exactly what and where to monitor for these security breaches.


The most common cybercrimes committed in our industry are elaborate phishing scams based targeted at buyer or seller transactions. Many of these scams are so elaborate that it’s difficult to distinguish whether these individuals are members of the brokerage or not. Hackers take over a sales associate’s email address and use it to correspond with the buyer or seller. The messaging in these scams usually involves a false sense of urgency that a payment needed is needed, along with wiring instructions. Steps that brokerages can take to prevent these complex forms of fraud include:


  • Hold cybersecurity training seminars
  • Become familiar with red flags that indicate a threat
  • Avoid wiring large sums of money
  • Instruct customers up front that you will not request wiring changes
  • Be present when the client wires money
  • Take out cybercrime insurance
  • Conduct a cybersecurity audit


Cybercrimes will only become more sophisticated. It’s more important than ever to invest in understanding and preventing these potentially disastrous infractions.