Co-Managing Partner Michael R. O’Donnell and Partner Bethany A. Abele provided expert guidance for the ROI-NJ article, “Real estate . . . and fake emails: Riker Danzig lawyers say cyberattacks increasingly targeting sector, disguised as part of legitimate transactions” on May 4, 2022. Mike and Bethany discussed the growing challenge of protecting against fraudsters who compromise emails and provide fraudulent payoff instructions. They warned of various schemes that even highly sophisticated professionals can fall for. Mike noted that “fraudsters are getting more sophisticated and they’re very effective at coming up with new schemes.” Bethany urged those involved in real estate closings to trust their gut. “If you call someone [to confirm an email’s authenticity] and they say, ‘Of course it was me,’ . . . it might be embarrassing. But it’ll be a lot more embarrassing if you have to make the call to say, ‘Hey, a million dollars is gone.’”
In addition to the extensive interview, the article also included warning signs to guard against in preventing this type of fraud. The full article is available here.