ALERT: Real estate scam - KXLT - Fox 47 Rochester MN News, Weather, Sports #rochmn

ALERT: Real estate scam

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(FOX 47) -

The good news is that, as of now, this wire scam hasn't been reported at all in the Rochester area.

But whether you're a buyer, seller, or real estate professional, it's important to be informed, on the off chance it does come our way.

According to a press release from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, what happens is this: crooks will hack into the email accounts of real estate professionals, giving them access to the computer or email account.

As a closing date approaches, the scammers send a bogus email to the closing agent, with a last minute change to send the money to a different account.

Once money is wired to the fraudulent account, the money is withdrawn and never seen again.

It's suspected that many of these criminals operate from overseas.

Ross Corson of the Minnesota Department of Commerce on Monday said due to circumstances of the investigation that's underway, he can't be too specific, but he did say this scam has broken out mostly in the metro area, as well as one case in the greater Minnesota region.

Corson added that the Minnesota Department of Commerce is working on getting the word out to consumers and real estate agents to prevent this from happening to them.

Corson said to be mindful and never send financial information via email, never wire money for a real estate transaction based on an email, and to practice good computer protection.

Some other tips to remain safe and successful in the real estate world are to confirm all money transfer instructions before doing any transaction, do not open any links in emails unless you are absolutely positive who the sender is, and regularly change your passwords. 

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