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Fraud Alert!

By Elizabeth Wilson Mar 25, 2014

Please be on the alert for a sophisticated phishing fraud that's using agent contact forms as a first step. Here's how the scam works.

  1. Agent receives an email from [email protected] with the subject line "Lead." lead form used by scammers sample
  2. This is a real lead form generated by someone using the contact form in the agent directory or on a listing.
  3. The name is taken from the phone book and an email account is created for the scam. There is no danger in opening the lead form or clicking on the email address. It's the follow-up email that is dangerous.
  4. Agent replies to the email.

  5. Agent receives the scam email.

    This contains a link to a fake Google website that is designed to steal your Google account credentials (username and password). The message will be similar to this one:
    phishing email to real estate agents

    DO NOT CLICK ON THIS LINK. If you hover your mouse over it, you will see that it does not go to a website. It may end with a country code like .tr (Turkey) or .in (India), which is another giveaway. Delete the email immediately and empty your deleted items. If someone you think is a legitimate lead sends you a similar request, ask for a phone number and establish that they're who they say they are.

We've been successful in blocking most of these attempts to hijack our lead forms, but some might still sneak through. If you receive one of these phishing emails, please forward it to [email protected] so we can investigate further.

And remember, the lead forms you receive from are safe, and are much more likely to be real home buyers and sellers wanting to contact you. However, if you are targeted by this scam, it's the subsequent email that contains the harmful link

We apologize for any inconvenience. Please pass this article on to other real estate agents so they can protect themselves.

Elizabeth Wilson
As content editor, Elizabeth spends every day immersed in real estate news and opinion so she can deliver fresh, relevant articles to’s visitors. She comes from a varied background in Internet marketing, book publishing, multimedia writing and radio, but what prepared her best for this position is her experience as a renter, seller and buyer in the Vancouver real estate market.
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