HONOLULU (KHON2) — The real estate scam works when the scammer hacks either the seller, buyer, or real estate agent’s email and acquires information about the transaction.

The thief inserts himself into the system, redirecting the funds to a different account.

This can be done with house closing proceeds or closing costs.

“One way they’re able to do that is when they send you those documents to sign, they’re redirecting that information so now it’s coming to them so you need to be careful when closing any transaction whether you’re the seller or the buyer as far as wiring them any money,” Roseann Freitas, Marketplace Manager for BBB Hawaii said.

To stop these scammers, Freitas suggests always double-check the e-mail address and call your realtor to confirm.

“You really want to even if you receive that email please send your money here..call, make sure that person asks for the money if it’s for your closing and if it’s your sale proceeds you most definitely want to make sure you’ve called them and that they’re not redirecting your money to someone else’s account,” said Freitas.

If you feel like you’re a target of a business compromise email, Freitas says to contact your bank immediately.

“Contact the bank or wherever the proceeds were supposed to go. you want to stop that transaction. contact if it’s the realtor involved whoever is involved in the transaction call the people or contact us at the BBB.org and also the FTC,” said Freitas.

If you have a concern or are interested in becoming an Action Line volunteer, give us a call Monday-Friday at 591-0222.

You can also send an email to actionline@khon2.com.