Email scams cost Australians millions of dollars a year. Unfortunately, for the property industry, cybercrime is reported every ten minutes in Australia, which means property funds have the attention of scammers.
While the exact level of activity in the property industry is very hard to quantify, there are ways to protect yourself and your clients from scammers.
Harcourts CEO Victoria and Tasmania Tony Morrison reports that most of the Harcourts agencies, based in Tasmania and Victoria, have been reporting an uptick in fraud attempts from 18 months ago.
“We have really noticed how much more it is happening, and unfortunately, some of the attempts have been successful and we have had several agencies that have found themselves seriously out of pocket.
There can be big sums involved in transactions, and criminals are aware of that, so that is why we, as an industry, are being targeted. Coupled with this, when it comes to an exchange, there are lots of different parties involved, so the chances of something going wrong increases.”
However, strong, smart technology can make it easier to protect a property deal. Lee Bailie, Head of Securexchange, a secure and collaborative workspace for property deals, says, “The transparent nature of the property industry and documentation and contract requirements makes it more vulnerable. Every transaction gets listed on a major listing site, so every property in market and their agent is available for everyone to see, including the scammers.”
Securexchange, which has won multiple business awards, aims to cyber-proof the property process through the use of a collaborative and secure workspace that all the various parties involved in the deal can communicate and share documents including the agent, conveyancer, lawyer, buyer and seller.
Real Estate Agent Melina Macnellie from Augustine Heights in Queensland has found that since using Securexchange, business has improved as client’s feel safer.
“As a start-up business owner and coming from the banking and finance industry, I absolutely believe in utilising Securexchange in my business and would recommend to all business owners as a way to help protect their clients and themselves.”
It has protected over 5000 parties involved in property deals since its launch in March 2018, ensuring property deposit funds and private documents remained 100% safe from hackers, backed by a financial guarantee. Join the growing network of agents, conveyancers and solicitors protecting their clients in Securexchange