Most of the time we recognize them. You know, the email from a “friend” who found themselves stranded in Zimbabwe and desperately needs $10,000 to get home because they’ve somehow lost all their money and passport.
Fake emails. Or what many refer to as email spoofing. Fake messages that look like they’re coming from someone you know but are really a scam from unscrupulous people trying to separate us from our hard-earned money.
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, theft and fraud over the internet was responsible for $2.7 billion in financial losses in 2018.
No one is immune. Fake emails can look like anything and come from anywhere. Just recently, an email that appeared to come from Arizona REALTORS® President D. Patrick Lewis’ email address asked people he knew to send gift cards his way. While he was grateful that so many of his friends reached out to find out what they could do to help, he assured them it was a scam.
The incident should remind us all to be cautious when responding to emails and not always trust the display name. In our profession it seems especially important as much of our work occurs via email.
Take a moment to review the Arizona REALTORS® Scams and Frauds page where you’ll find information on state, local and national scams. Remain vigilant and protect yourself!