We would like to alert our members to a couple of scams that have surfaced recently, one conducted via text message affecting members on Kauai, and a second sent via email to our employees and associates.
The Kauai Board of REALTORS reports that scammers are sending text messages to real estate professionals from an (808) area code phone number, and are using information related to their real estate business and brokerages to convince recipients of their legitimacy.
The scammers are asking about real estate and requesting meetings at members’ offices, for example, but meanwhile are requesting money or gift cards.
These are fake inquiries, and a police report has already been filed. If you receive such messages, you can also report them to law enforcement. KBR encourages you to always remain vigilant and to prioritize safety.
Meanwhile, we would like to share with members an example email scam that is quite common, and that has targeted all sorts of businesses. This scam involves faking an email from a company executive, and is sent to company employees.
The email is made to appear to be sent under the name of a company executive, but a close analysis of the sender email address will usually find it to be from a fake address. The email will always include a push for quick action (“this is incredibly urgent”) and often ask for secrecy (“I want this to be a surprise”). To prevent victims from asking questions, the email will usually claim to be sent while the executive is out of the office, unavailable by phone, and too busy to explain.
In the two recent cases reported by employees, the scam was attempted while company executives were indeed traveling and out of the office, making the request seem more legitimate.
Please take special care to verify emails that ask for wire transfers, online payments, or purchases of gift cards (which are a common currency among scammers). Contact the purported sender via another channel, and do not act unless they confirm the request. Even if a legitimate business request is delayed, the extra diligence is worth it.