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USA Real Estate Blog

Is that email real or spam? 2 quick ways to find out

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CHICAGO – March 15, 2019 – Once in a while, you might get an email that looks like it’s from the National Association of Realtors® but really isn’t. Or Florida Realtors. Or your local association. Or one of many other groups that call you a member.

Like so many other phishing scams, these emails mimic official correspondence from a trusted source because that makes it easier to get one of two things from you: personal data or credit card info.

How do you know if an email is really an attempt to steal money? Here are two quick ways to check:

  • Look at the return email address. If it says something like “NAR-yahoo.com,” it’s not from NAR, for example. Association emails only come from the “realtors.org” address. Also look closely at the address. Savvy spammers may change only a single letter in a trusted address hoping you’ll do a quick read. “rea1tors.org” looks very similar to “realtors.org,” for example.
  • Hover your cursor over any file attachments, links or buttons. When you do that (don’t click), a box will appear under your cursor that shows the location of the file. If it’s from NAR, the URL path will make that clear, generally with a “realtor.org” somewhere. Links that take you to unknown destinations usually have a long string of letters and numbers because the sender uses obscure platforms.

A note about emails from Realtor associations since NAR’s name has been illegally used to solicit charitable donations: NAR never asks for donations on behalf of individuals. Any donations the association seeks is through the Realtors Relief Foundation, and these are for broad causes such as relief efforts after a tornado, hurricane, fire or earthquake.

Source: Realtor Magazine, Robert Freedman

© 2019 Florida Realtors®

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