Our past Alerts on this topic advised Fund Members to get the cell phone numbers of all of the parties to the transaction, including the real estate agent, and to make sure all parties have your phone number. If anyone gets an email with instructions related to money, they should not follow the instructions until they have called the instructing party, on the cell phone number exchanged at the beginning of the transaction, and have verbally verified that the real party sent the instructions and that the instructions they sent are the same ones received.
Please add the following to your procedures to avoid becoming a victim of this scam:
Do not exchange cell phone numbers or other verification instructions via email. Remember that this scam works because the criminal has hacked into one or more of the parties’ email accounts and can read, intercept, delay, or change anything sent via email. If the hacker knows all of the parties’ cell phone numbers or that they have agreed to call each other or take some other action to verify wiring instructions, the hacker will be able to disrupt the verification process you have set up.
For more information, here is a link to the original September 2015 Fund Alert regarding the email hackers, and the update in January 2016.