The 4thof July is fast approaching and that means greetings, sales, and a sense of urgency before taking half the week off. While we are aaaallllways down for a good sale or vacation, we are not down for fraud. Just like you love national holidays, so do fraudsters. Except they’re less about sparklers, burgers, and family and more about fake emails, hacking, and stealing.
We are here to provide some tips to protect you and your valuable information from malware and scams.
Happy Holidays & Special Deliveries:You’re email just dinged, it’s your agent, escrow officer, or friend wishing you a happy 4thof July with a cute E-Card! But is it really…? In their latest Wire Fraud Update, Title Resources warned about this very thing! Hackers are sending fraudulent emails that have malware in the hidden links. Here are some ways to make sure your e-card is the real deal:
Check out the from email address. It is common for hackers to have a similar address but will add an extra letter or symbol. Also be on the lookout for “.something” after .com. That usually indicates that the email came from another county.
Hover over the “click here” spaces to preview the link before clicking. If the URL is suspicious, don’t click it.
Urgent Emails and Messages: If you or anyone who is a part of your transaction plans to leave for the holidays there may be a sense of urgency to have your ducks in a row before anyone is unavailable. During this time, it is important to slow down and be aware of any social engineering and psychological manipulation. Fraudsters will play on the need for an urgent reply to trigger a heightened emotional state to “act now” and click on the bogus link. Some common red flags associated with compromised emails include:
An unusual sense of urgency
Emails sent outside of normal business hours
Emails with changes in payment type
Emails with changes in account information
We always recommend if you are not sure about an email you received, CALL! Oh, and don’t use the phone number in the suspicious email – instead use the one found on a letter or company website.
Additional online practices to protect your information during the holiday week:
When following “sale” emails – some of those prices aretoo good to be true. Verify the link to be sure you were not taken to a phishing site that steals your payment information. Instead, independently search for and visit the online retailer to verify the sale.
Beware of “deals” that require immediate actions.
Don’t share your personal or payment information on a public wi-fi connection.
When sharing personal or payment info, look for “https” in the URL.
We hope your holiday is all FUN and no FRAUD!
Some of our amazing Prescott Team Members | Photo by Dalaney Mason Photography
Pioneer Title Agency is a full service company with an operating philosophy of "Commitment to Service." The company provides title insurance, escrow, account servicing, trustee sales, as well as builder related trust services through more than 70 offices in Arizona.