Hackers' latest targets are real estate companies and their client data - especially clients about to close on a sale.

Real estate firms and title companies are trying to combat cyber criminals and their efforts to scam home buyers out of their funds, according to Steve Brown of The Dallas Morning News.

The scam usually begins when a buyer receives an email from what appears to be their real estate agent or a title company, requesting funds for a down payment, sometimes by wire transfer. In some cases, the home buyer has had the foresight to call their Realtor before falling for the scam – but not always. If the buyer ends up losing money to a hacker, they might not have the funds to make the actual down payment, leading to the loss of a sale.

"It's a reality, not just a potential, and it is happening pretty frequently," said Becky Connatser of Dallas residential sales firm Dave Perry-Miller & Associates. "The ramifications are huge for the seller, the buyer and the real estate company."

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