Covid-19 phishing scams reach real estate firms

A day after the FBI reported a rise in Covid-19 scams, real estate fund managers are becoming targets of fraudsters, PropertyEU has learned.

Scammers have been sending out emails that look like they come from the official email account of those responsible for the financial operations of funds, but in reality they are from a growing army of cyber criminals looking to dupe unsuspecting investors and counterparties with emotive email subject lines such as ‘IMPORTANT: Covid-19 business continuity advisory.’

Typically, such phishing attempts contain one or more attachments that contain fake log in sites as the criminals impersonate a fund manager ultimately with the goal of extracting money fraudulently or introducing ransomware.

The existence of such bogus Covid-19 emails has led to finance professionals to contact relevant clients and associates warning them not to click on attachments, or links, or input any information from messages that pretend to be from a legitimate real estate professional such as a CFO or FD.

Such instances of phishing scams reaching real estate fund managers underline a warning issued in recent days of a proliferation in coronavirus-related scams.

On Friday, the FBI said scammers were ‘leveraging the Covid-19 pandemic to steal your money, your personal information, or both’. Fraudsters can use links in email to deliver malware to computers that can then steal information or lock a computer before demanding payment to unlock it.

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