Real estate purchase: crooks pretend to be your notary and extract thousands of euros from you

The criminals pose as notaries to scam real estate buyers (illustration).  (Pixabay / Tama66)

The criminals pose as notaries to scam real estate buyers (illustration). (Pixabay / Tama66)

A vast scam is currently raging in France. These are fake emails from notaries aimed at extracting money from buyers of real estate. The criminals intercept emails sent by real notaries and replace the bank details of the professional with theirs.

The UFC-Que Choisir warns the French who have a plan to purchase real estate against a vast scam. Scammers indeed manage to extract money from buyers by sending false emails from notaries, the association reports in a press release.

To achieve their ends, criminals hack into the mailboxes of real notaries. They then intercept messages containing certain keywords such as “rib”, “deposit” or even “transfer” and then replace the notary’s RIB with their own, referring to an account abroad. The cybercriminals then resend the email to the recipient.

A tip: check the bank details

The UFC – What to Choose has revealed that there have been numerous reports made in connection with the scam. In Nord-pas-de-Calais, for example, a buyer received an email from his notary asking him to pay for the sale. All the information in the message was correct, but the buyer noted that the associated RIB was that of a foreign account, which allowed him to avoid the scam.

Faced with this scam, the consumer defense association recommends always calling the notary office to verify bank details before making a transfer.

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