Working Out Your Tax Claim, Now You’re Working From Home.
What’s the Outlook for the Residential Property Market for the Rest of the Year?
COMO on ClydesDale with Stamp Duty Rebates of up to $50,000
Stamp Duty Cut for Off-the-Plan Apartments in Bid to Boost WA's Ailing Property Market
Arranging SMSF Finance
NRAS Investment Opportunity
Perth Property: Most Affordable in More than Two Decades
Property predictions for 2021
QBE Housing Outlook of the Australian Property Market for 2018-2021
Investment Property Market Snapshot
Beat the interest rate hikes and switch to a low rate home loan
Economic lift for last-placed WA as indicators point to recovery
Boomtown’s bounce is back as economy out of the woods
National Housing Market Update | July 2018 source: CoreLogic
WA property market tipped to lead the way in growth after slump to worst performing
Perth Rental Landlord Stung With GST Twice By Real Estate Agents
West Mundijong to become new 'industrial hub'
Homebuyers warned of looming mortgage rate rise risk
WA landlords still facing huge damage bills from cannabis grow-houses
New TAX rules for property buyers
Margin Scheme Explained
Capital City Dwelling Values Record Their First Annual Decline Since November 2012 While Regional Dwelling Values Continue To Edge Higher
Perth remains the cheapest capital in Australia to rent a home despite first price rise for five years
Property Resales Continue To Show Profit Despite Slower Conditions
Does your Property Manager stack up?
Investor Lending … Finally Some Good News
Moroccan Chicken Tajine Recipe
Perth Property shows a modest and stable outlook in 2018
7 Tips to Help you Achieve your Financial Goals in 2018
My thoughts about Bitcoin and USI Tech.
December 2017 Housing Market Update - Positive News for Perth
Now’s the time to buy a house in WA: Billionaire Kerry Stokes stakes reputation on perfect property market conditions
Do You & Your Partner Have Life Insurance?
Interest Rate Game Changer
Be on high alert - Scammers target WA property industry
In need of financial solutions? Meet Nash Finance
Summer Nectarine Smoothie
Date and Tahini Fudge recipe
Implications for the housing market and housing affordability from the 2017 Federal Budget
Act now to fix your mortgage rate in the wake of the new 'Bank Tax'?
House Price Hope
Vegan Creamy Sweet Potato Curry
Federal Budget "Property Facts" You May Not Have Heard About
Banks Post Record Profits at Your Expense
CoreLogic Housing Market and Economic Update April - May 2017
Supercharge your day! Healthy Tea Smoothie w/ Kale and Mango
4 Parkside Properties in Perth, WA $164,000 Under The Asking & Valuation Price
Healthy Chocolate Treats
Where’s the Perth Property Market Heading in 2017?
Worried about Job Security & Finances?
What Does It Take To Be Elite At Something?
March 2017 Housing Market Update
Paul Magiatis – A Man Who Has Owned 79 Properties
Kalgoorlie Investment Properties
Financial New Year Resolutions to Keep For 2017
January 2017 Mapping the Market Report
Retirement Poll Results
A Great Time For Potential Buyers In Perth
October 2016 Mapping the Market Report
The number of Aussie's who own 6 or more rental properties ...
Who are SECFI?

Huge loss from cyber-attacks targeting WA property industry


An urgent alert to the WA real estate and settlement industries, as well as to buyers and sellers of properties, has been issued by Consumer Protection after three recent cyber-attacks have resulted in almost $590,000 being stolen in property-related scams.


In the worst case, an 83 year old property buyer in Perth’s western suburbs has lost $557,000 after the fraudsters intercepted email communications between her son, who was acting on her behalf, and their settlement agent. It is not yet known if the scammers hacked into the email account of the buyer’s son or the settlement agent or both.


On 8 September 2017 the buyer’s son received an email from who he thought was his mother’s settlement agent asking him to deposit the final payment on a property amounting to $558,000 into a new bank account which he did. When the fraud was discovered, he contacted the bank involved but it was too late, all but $1,000 had already been withdrawn from the account. The buyer may face further financial losses as the settlement could not go ahead as planned.


In the second case, two clients of another western suburbs’ settlement agency lost a total of $25,658 after the agency’s email account was hacked in late August 2017 and three payments towards property purchases from the clients were directed to a different bank account set up by scammers.


In the third case, a western suburbs’ real estate agent/property manager had her email account hacked on 13 September 2017 and three prospective tenants received emails from scammers purporting to be the agency. The tenants had already been told by the agent that their rental applications had been successful and the scam email requested them to deposit their bond payments into a new bank account. A total of $7,300 had been transferred to the bank account before the scam was discovered. Luckily this scam was detected early because the property manager’s father was one of the tenants who received the email and he became suspicious.


Officers from Consumer Protection’s Property Industries Branch and WA ScamNet are investigating all three incidents. The Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) and the WA Police Major Fraud Squad have been notified. It is not clear if the three incidents are linked but it appears they have all been carried out by overseas criminals.


Commissioner for Consumer Protection David Hillyard said there is now an urgent need for everyone involved in property transactions in WA to be on high alert.

“Buyers, sellers and tenants need to double check any email purporting to be from their real estate or settlement agent requesting funds be sent to a bank account,” Mr Hillyard said.


“As the scammers could have hacked into the client’s or the agency’s email server, it may appear genuine so we recommend that the change is confirmed with a phone call to the agency’s previously known number to verify if the request is authentic. Don’t reply to the email or use any numbers provided in the email as you could be communicating with the scammers.


“The same applies to agents, as clients’ email accounts could have been hacked and payments may be inadvertently diverted to the hacker’s account.


“For the property industry, it is imperative that all real estate and settlement agencies use the highest possible security software to protect the integrity of their computer systems and email servers.


“It’s believed the hacking may have occurred as a result of accessing email accounts via public Wi-Fi and consumers and industry professionals are cautioned about the dangers of using your email on open networks such as these when arranging important transactions.


“Regular changing of passwords for email and bank accounts and independent verification of requests for changes to bank or contact details should be normal practice, especially in wake of these recent cases. This advice really applies to all businesses, not just the property industry.


“With large amounts of money often involved, property transactions are always going to be a lucrative target for scammers who will attempt to intercept the payments, so we all need to exercise extreme vigilance.


“Already one elderly member of our community has lost a substantial amount of her life’s savings to these cruel criminals and others have suffered losses as well, so we need to ensure that emails requesting payments be made to a different bank account are treated with suspicion and these requests need to be independently verified and come under increased scrutiny.”


Cyber-attacks and scam losses should be reported to Consumer Protection by email or by calling 1300 30 40 54.


Source: Government of Western Australia


Level 11 Brookfield Place

125 St Georges Terrace

Perth WA 6000


Phone: 08 9288 4553

Fax: 08 9288 4400


Subscribe to our Enews