How to protect the sale of your house from fraudsters

Written by on April 26, 2016 in Opinion with 0 Comments

Group of businesspeople holding model houseUnfortunately, as technology is advancing so are fraudsters. Unbelievably, homeowners looking to sell are having their houses sold from underneath them.

Cybercrime is on the rise and perpetrators are targeting unsuspecting property sellers and their solicitors.

So is it now really safe to sell your house? Nothing is fool-proof but there are precautions you can take to prevent being hacked.

Don’t put passwords or any other personal information that could be potentially valuable to fraudsters in emails.

One couple sold their London flat for £340,000, or at least they thought they did. Their solicitor requested their bank details, including their sort code and account number via email, and of course the couple duly replied. Why wouldn’t you?

Well what the solicitor – and the couple – didn’t know is that the email was intercepted by criminals using technology that is able to “X-ray” millions of emails and pinpoint data that could contain financially useful information. The technology allowed the criminals to identify said email, and they pounced. As a result the £340,000 was sent to the fraudsters’ account.

Whilst police were able to act, and the couple managed to salvage a large part of the sum, they were still £62,000 out of pocket.

As well not disclosing any sensitive information when communicating via email, you can decrease the risk of being a victim of fraud by ensuring you’ve got a strong password. Make sure the password is different to any other online accounts. Protecting your device wouldn’t go amiss either, install security on your computer and smartphone and keep up to date with scheduled maintenance updates.

So you’ve protected yourself in cyber space, now you have to sell to a trusted buyer, and avoid firms with a bad reputation.

You wouldn’t buy a car, a new TV set or even a kettle without reading the reviews first right? Why should be selling what is most likely your valuable asset any different?

Be sure to read up on the firm you are thinking of choosing. The internet is a hotspot for reviews and there are hundreds of trusted property firms out there. Selling your home is never going to be without its complications but selecting the right firm will make it as stress free as possible.

For those who want a quick sale, there are companies out there who are able to buy your property within hours regardless of its condition.

This may sound like an odd one, but don’t let your close family or friends know that you’re thinking of moving until the move is finalised and the cash is exchanged.

Take Murphy’s Law; anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Don’t take any chances, you may be excited, nervous, anxious and need a helping hand, but you’re always going to have a whole host of emotions when selling your home.

You’ll never be certain of who they may tell. In any walk of like, tongues will always be set wagging and you don’t know who will be listening. Keeping the move to yourself will minimise the risk of being targeted by fraudsters.

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About the Author

About the Author: Tony is a freelance writer, regular speaker, MC and chairman for the telecoms and digital services industries worldwide. He has founded and managed software and services companies, acts a market strategist and is now Editor of DisruptiveViews. In June 2011, Tony was recognized as one of the 25 most influential people in telecom software worldwide. .

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