16 Feb 2018

Buyer beware: Email fraud alert

Consumer Affairs Victoria has issued a warning after discovering an email hacking scam that has pocketed more than $200,000 from home buyers.

Fraudsters are continuing to target the email accounts of real estate agents and instructing home buyers to deposit large sums into bogus bank accounts.

Home buyers have reported receiving emails with the contract of sale and trust account details for payment of their deposit followed by a second message from the same email address advising them of a mistake in the bank account details.

Consumer Affairs Victoria is warning buyers and agents to be vigilant when transferring home deposits. When making a deposit be sure to:

  • Call the agent or visit them in person to verify that the email is legitimate.
  • Call your agent if you receive a follow-up email from your agent telling you to make payment into another account, even if it is from the same email address.
  • Regularly change passwords and other verification details.
  • Delete spam messages without opening them.