THE buyer of a Karrinyup property has lost $20,000 in a cyber scam.
Cyber criminals sent an email to the buyer pretending to be his real estate agent, requesting the deposit be paid into a bank account they controlled.
This has prompted a renewed warning from Consumer Protection for buyers, sellers, tenants and agents to be extremely vigilant.
Commissioner David Hillyard recommended everyone involved in property transactions double check information before sending money.
“Email accounts are frequently being hacked by scammers and messages are being sent that can look almost identical to the email address of a real estate or settlement agent,” he said.
“So we recommend that, before sending money, buyers or tenants should check the bank account details by calling the agency to verify they are correct.
“Do not use contact details contained in emails that ask for money to be deposited into a particular account as the calls could be diverted to the scammers.”
Mr Hillyard said agents should tell clients to call them if they receive an email requesting money be sent to a particular account.
“As the amount of money being transferred in property transactions can be substantial, the risks are also substantial, so a few minutes checking the validity of emails and bank account details… is a quick and simple way to ensuring the funds are going to the intended recipient,” he said.