The world paced fast with increasing job opportunities and there was no time to be spent with family, no time for making weekend outings, tons of conversations were put on hold, and then, the pandemic hit.
Life with working from home culture, led people to spend time with their family, and continue and finish conversations with their loved ones. Of course, there were many downfalls- unemployment, distances in relationships, and even loss of life.
McAfee, which focuses its operations to benefit society, reported a distinct rise in cybercrimes, as schools, universities, offices, medical assistance, and everything moved from physical locations to computer systems.
It is no surprise that cybercriminals kept benefitting throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. They closely monitored vulnerabilities that included anything and everything that would call for a quick internet search.
McAfee has a separate web page for publishing blogs that spreads and increases awareness among people about the different variations in cybercrimes including CSR initiatives by the company that makes people feel a sense of belonging.
This read is focused on one specific problem that was largely reported in Canada- housing scams. Let’s understand the problem with elaboration along with suggestions by McAfee to be on the lookout.
WHY THESE SCAMS WERE GIVEN LIFE?
When the pandemic hit, one thing that every country in the world experienced was unemployment. However, that wasn’t the only reason for these recent scams. Two reasons led to making these scammers come up with the fraud plans.
First, with the “work from home” culture, people didn’t feel the need to stay in expensive locations near their workspaces so they moved to suburban areas. Another reason, of course, was the increased unemployment. With people struggling to pay their rent, cheaper places had a rising demand.
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According to McAfee these reasons led to people picking up their smartphones, or switching on their laptops to do a quick search on cheap places to live. Well, that sounds right because people today search for everything before making any decision.
However, that’s the thing about cybercrimes- they are harmful but in sparkling disguise. They can easily put a grip on you when you are distracted with “at-the-time” vulnerabilities. Therefore, people’s inability to pay their rent or just wanting to move to a cheaper place gave birth to these scams.
KNOW THE THREE HOUSING SCAMS
McAfee talked about three scams that were reported by the people of Canada in its blog- loan fraud, title fraud, and mortgage fraud.
The Loan Fraud
During the pandemic, people were desperate and were unable to pay their house mortgage, this is when the financial institutions or banks take over their rights to ownership along with the right to sell it. In times like these people had to look for options to bridge the payout gap.
Scammers pretended to issue attractive loans in exchange for the title of their homes. Being desperate, people make wrong calls and hand the title to these scammers.
Now that the scammers have acquired the titles to their houses, they can immediately stop paying the loan amount they agreed on and attempt to remortgage or resell these properties.
McAfee understands that desperate times do not leave much space for rationality but, it is recommended that people understand the terms and see if they seem logical or are just wrapped with sugar coats and low interest rates.
The Title Fraud
Title Frauds are very much identical to illegal impersonations. Scammers tend to steal the title of houses by simply impersonating people who hold the right to ownership. Reselling and remortgaging these houses are the ultimate consequences of this type of fraud.
McAfee suggests that it will be helpful to keep all the private data to yourself, as much as possible. Since identity thefts are much alike, phishing attacks can cause the loss of personal data too.
Thus, it is advised to put suitable security measures in place to save yourselves from getting attacked, and avoid falling victim to any kind of housing fraud or basic ransomware.
The Mortgage Fraud
This fraud approach refers to dishonest lenders who try to get cash from innocent buyers or pitch various tempting mortgage terms that have no connection with the buyers’ intentions. Cash fees and upfront payments are very common examples of these frauds or lenders.
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According to McAfee, nothing is better than having faith in certain accredited lenders or financial institutions before signing any type of contract. You can even incorporate the online tools that help you calculate mortgages.
If you suspect anything you are advised to trust your instincts. Another example of such fraud can be that these lenders try to hurry you or rush through the procedure. You can ask your friends and family for lender recommendations and avoid being attacked.
HOW TO AVERT THESE SCAMS?
According to McAfee suggestions, listed below are the five ways to prevent falling victim to these attacks:
- Choose to invest in title insurance for the house you own.
- Try to be attentive and thoroughly check all the aspects of an URL, a message, an email, etc., before getting into it (avoid phishing attacks).
- Try to be calm in suspicious situations and ensure reporting the scams on getting identified.
- Research and incorporate alert services for identity theft.
McAfee is an organization that provides antivirus solutions that helps in fighting against cybercrime and has taken several initiatives for directing each of their activities towards societal welfare. And it publishes different blogs to spread awareness about digital age threats.
This read is focused on a recent housing scam in Canada that the company thought of bringing to the spotlight. Mentioned above is the reason the scams came up, some detail about them and ways to prevent them.