This day in age the internet offers a level of convenience that for most is irresistible. The ability to sell or buy a home with companies like OfferPad, Opendoor, or online banks that use HELOC financing without ever leaving your home may sound great, but are they really, and at what cost? There are many hidden risks to making such transactions online. Recently 3 on your side did a report of a couple who says that even the simple task of refinancing their home left them the victims of identity theft. What can you do to protect your family’s assets and your personal identity?
- Make sure your system is updated and has the latest version of antivirus software. If you are not sure how to check this, some companies like Appliedtek’s here in the West Valley offer free inspections and general update services starting at $75.
- Know who and where you are sending personal information to. We all get caught up in the moment and emails can be quick and easy. Make sure the person you are sending your financial information to has protection through a company server. Example: If a person has a Gmail email address I would think twice about sending your application or loan documents.
- Check your credit report. Having eyes on this can alert you to any requests being made against credit. Unfortunately we find out too often that someone was a victim of identity theft when applying for a home loan.
- Check your financial institutes regularly. Often time’s thieves will attempt at small transactions to verify funds are available before making a large transaction.
- And last but not least my personal favorite. Use strong passwords. This is a password that consists of multiple words letters special characters. Passwords like “Mypassword1234” will not provide the difficulty needed to protect you and your information. And don’t save your passwords on your phone or anything that may fall into the hands of someone looking to steal your identity.
As a victim of identity theft, my team and I take every precaution necessary to protect you and your family. At Ozment Realty AZ we take pride in making the home buying or selling process as convenient as possible. We know every situation is different and presents its own obstacles, but we strive to make your home sale or purchase quick and easy.