Scammers are once again trying to scam unsuspecting real estate agents around the country, $10 at a time, while pretending to from be Movoto Real Estate via text and email. And it’s happening at high volumes all over the country.
“When it happens, we get 200 to 300 voice mails from agents who have been targeted,” says Noel Smith, a Movoto customer care representative. “They work their way from the East Coast to the West Coast.”
And the fraudsters are convincing.
“I’ve seen a lot of scams, but this is in the top 5 percent of scammers in terms of how legit it looks,” says Adam Garett, a Realtor of Greg Garrett Realty in Newport News, Virginia. Garrett received a text message, which read:
“Dear Realtor, you’ve received a PreQualified real estate lead from MOVOTO” accompanied by a link.
The link took him to mock-up lead page which includes Movoto’s logo, an actual listing, an actual agent’s name, and some blocked out contact information. Accompanying text said this was a pre-qualified lead “as a trial from Movoto” which can be purchased for $10.
These scams have affected other brokerages and listing websites like Redfin and realtor.com, which were targeted earlier this year.
Agents who are hooked into the scam—which is understandable, since, as Garett notes, agents have to quickly respond to leads—pay and are given a phone number to someone who gives them the runaround.
“They must have a call center working for them,” says Noel. “They say the person is on vacation, or there’s a cash buyer. Then they say they’ll call back in a few days.”
They don’t, of course. But there’s some good news: there hasn’t been any evidence yet that the scammers are attempting identity theft.
“To our knowledge, it seems like they’re only after that $10 and hitting as many agents as possible with the scam,” says Noel.
But it’s possible to get that $10 back.
“PayPal usually refunds the money. Even with credit and banking institutions, those charges can be disputed as well,” says Noel. So if it happens, call whatever bank, credit card or online payment system you used to pay for the fake lead.
And remember, Movoto Real Estate does not request payments upfront for leads. Movoto Real Estate is pay upon close, when the client is ready, able and willing to make the transaction happen. Furthermore, Movoto does not send out referrals directly. If you receive any texts or emails requesting money for a lead upfront, it’s not Movoto Real Estate.
The post Scammers Targeting Movoto and Real Estate Agents at it Again appeared first on Movoto Blog.