Cyber criminals targeting real estate and other financial service businesses have been busy in 2019. Attacks are far more sophisticated than the stereotypical Nigerian Prince schemes, which means your company and employees need to be informed and diligent.
The secret to comedy, according to the old joke, is timing. The same is true of cybercrime.
Mark learned this the hard way in 2017. He runs a real estate company in Seattle and asked us not to include his last name because of the possible repercussions for his business.
“The idea that someone was effectively able to dupe you … is embarrassing,” he says. “We’re still kind of scratching our head over how it happened.”
It started when someone hacked into his email conversation with a business partner. But the hackers didn’t take over the email accounts. Instead, they lurked, monitoring the conversation and waiting for an opportunity.
When Mark and his partner mentioned a $50,000 disbursement owed to the partner, the scammers made their move.
“They were able to insert their own wiring instructions,” he says. Pretending to be Mark’s partner, they asked him to send the money to a bank account they controlled.