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NAR warns of text message scam

There are two versions of the scam; one asks members to pay a fine and another requests sales tax on a prize

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The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has released a warning about a text message scam that asks members to pay a fine or sales tax on a prize.

In the text asking for payment of a fine, the sender says NAR has been investigating “claims of racist text and emails sent by you,” and threatens repercussions for those supposed actions.

Shortly after the initial text, the sender shoots off another message asking for a $1,345 fine to be paid via the Square Cash app.

The message(s) asking for payment of a fine.

In the second version of the scam, members are told they’ve won a car or TV sponsored by NAR, but in order to get the prize, members must pay a sales tax of $1,200.

Text scam asking for payment of sales tax.

NAR has reported both scams to the FBI and is advising members to take the following precautions:

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  • Report the incident to the FBI IC3 website.
  • Do not click on any links in the text or otherwise engage with the sender. If you have clicked on a link in a suspicious text, promptly follow up with an IT specialist to ensure that the device is free from malware.
  • Erase the text from your device. You can take a screen shot of the scam text prior to erasing it to use it in your report to the FBI.
  • If you want to follow up with the FBI after filing the IC3 report, you can call your local FBI field office.
  • If you suspect that any phone numbers or contact information were obtained due to a breach of your IT system, alert your IT department or engage an IT specialist to scan your systems and devices to make sure that you are free from malware.
  • Visit NAR’s Data Privacy and Security page for more information about how to protect your business from cybercrime.

Email Marian McPherson.