Two newspaper articles regarding a condominium high-rise building in San Francisco known as the "Millennium Tower" came to the attention of the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® ("SFAR) on August 1, 2016.
The first, entitled "S.F. tower for rich, famous is sinking," was in the San Francisco Chronicle; the second, entitled "Finger pointing begins in Millennium luxury tower mess," was in the San Francisco Business Times. Other articles or sources of information in this regard may be available.
Because the situation is still in flux and no one really knows how or when it will be resolved, the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® has released a new form intended solely for use with listings and sales of units in the Millennium Tower in San Francisco to help protect REALTORS®.
The SFAR forms committee has put together a packet of information to be included with the Millennium Tower Advisory Form. Buyers are urged to carefully review all such information and conduct their own investigation before the purchase of any unit in the Millennium Tower, preferably during Buyers' inspection contingency, if any.
Click here for the Millennium Tower Advisory Form and related articles.
NAR published this Urgent Alert back in December, but we feel it is so important that we are rerunning the article...
Criminals are hacking into the email accounts of real estate agents or other persons involved in a real estate transaction and using information gained from the hack to dupe a party into a fraudulent wire transfer. The hackers often send an email that appears to be from an individual legitimately involved in the transaction, informing the recipient, often the buyer, that there has been a last minute change to the wiring instructions. Following the new instructions, the recipient will wire funds directly to the hacker’s account, which will be cleared out in a matter of minutes. The money is almost always lost forever.
In the next two weeks, real estate professionals will be contending with high transactional volumes during year-end closings. This is a busy and hectic time for real estate professionals, and many millions of dollars will be sent and received via wire before the end of the year. This is exactly the environment in which online criminals seek to operate.
The National Association of REALTORS® urges its members and state and local REALTOR® associations to be on high alert for email and online fraud.
In May 2015, NAR issued an alert regarding a sophisticated email wire fraud hitting the real estate industry. Since then, the incidents of online scams targeting practitioners have continued to rise but the advice is the same.
Bottom line: Do not let your guard down. Start from the assumption that any email in your in-box could be a targeted attack from a criminal.
For the full article with information onprevention and damage control, please click here.
For more information on this and other cyberscams, as well as further information on cybersecurity best practices, visit these resources: