For most professionals, a sizeable chunk of the day is spent hurriedly opening, reading and replying to emails, sometimes without giving much thought to the validity and safety of those messages. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is seeking to change that with its latest warning about a possible phishing scam targeting NAR members.
The email, entitled “NAR: Urgent Update,” comes from firstname.lastname@example.org, and asks that “all registered realtors are hereby advised to view the recent publication released.”
In order to view the release, users are asked to click a link and enter a password.
The intent of the scam isn’t yet known, but NAR is asking all members to immediately delete the email and warn others of this and other possible phishing attempts.
NAR Association Counsel Jessica Edgerton wrote a lengthy blog post about how Realtors can protect buyers from phishing scams, but there’s plenty of helpful tips on how agents can protect themselves, too:
- Trust your gut. If an email seems suspicious, delete it.
- Regularly clean out your email inbox. Edgerton says a “longstanding backlog” of emails could give scammers access to sensitive information.
- If you have to send sensitive information via email, such as wire transfer number, make sure your email is encrypted.
- Change your usernames and passwords on a regular basis, and make sure your passwords aren’t “easy to guess.”
- Use the most up-to-date firewall and anti-virus technologies to protect your information.
- If you’ve been compromised, immediately change your username and password and notify anyone else who’s information could have been exposed.
Report the attack to the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Internet Crime Complaint Center, and alert your local Realtor association.