How do cybercriminals use real estate brokerage sites to execute online fraud?

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If you plan to find a suitable tenant or buyer for your property using a real estate broker site, you must remain extremely vigilant against cybercriminals. There have been cases these days where online fraudsters use real estate broker portals posing as a buyer or tenant to execute the fraud.

By showing urgency on their side, they will confuse you by diluting your concentration and fish out your confidential information by asking you to click on the given link or scan the QR code etc.

Sharing his recent experience with a cybercriminal, one victim who kept his cool during the conversation said, “I was trying to put a property up for rent and posted it on a real estate broker’s website. In within minutes I got a call from someone posing as an army officer, he insisted on finalizing the deal quickly, asked for pictures of the property and said he was I agree with the property.Immediately i got his PAN card,Military canteen card and Aadhaar card.Calling him on that he insisted me to share my Gpay number linked to my bank account so that he can transfer the two months rent in advance.In fact, he also asked me for my UPI account number, which I politely declined.

According to cyber crime experts, there is no need to scan any QR code or click on any given link to accept money. In fact, a recipient does not have to do anything to receive money, it is the sender who is required to follow the rules and guidelines for transferring money online.

The owner went on to add, “The caller later said he was sending 5 to my account as a test transfer. Once the money arrives in my account, it will send the remaining amount to my account via UPI transfer. However, to my surprise, he sent a QR code, asking me to scan. But, before scanning the given QR code, I first transferred my entire amount to my other bank account and then I scanned the QR code, which failed. The caller sent a QR code again and the transaction failed again. After doing it a few more times, the caller got angry and disconnected the call.”

Explaining how online QR code fraud works, New Delhi-based cybercrime expert Amit Dubey said, “In QR code scanning fraud, an unknown person calls the potential victim asking them to scan the code. QR given to receive the amount. However, the recipient should remember that there is no need to scan or click on any given link to receive money. It’s to send money to someone else’s account.

With just one click, online scammers grab all your credentials such as bank account, customer ID, PAN card and Aadhaar card number etc. an unknown person.

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