Realtor’s security breach costs young home buyer $10K
WATCH ABOVE: A real estate agent whose Gmail account got hacked has cost a consumer $10,000. As Sean O’Shea reports, at issue is the security of the agent’s account.
CAMBRIDGE — For new homeowner Kaitlyn DiMarco, 22, this should have been one of the most exciting times of her life. Instead, she is $10,000 poorer and faces the prospect of identity theft.
The young woman just bought her first home in Cambridge, Ont. Using the help of one of the largest brokerages in the area, DiMarco thought she was in good hands.
But a security breach involving the agent’s email account has caused her heartache.
“Now it’s like they’re scolding me for buying this house,” said DiMarco.
Her agent, Tina Goldrick, used a Gmail account to conduct business.
After signing the deal, in person, DiMarco received an email from Goldrick’s account asking for another $10,000. It turns out that the agent’s account had been hacked and the request for money was bogus.
The real estate brokerage refuses to compensate DiMarco for her loss. She and her mother fear that whoever had access to her account may steal DiMarco’s identity.
Re/Max Twin City Realty told Global News that Goldrick has hired a security professional and has upgraded her real estate website to be “secure”.
But the brokerage says “when used properly” Gmail can be a safe means for business email.
Lawyer Samantha Keser, who represents DiMarco, disagrees.
She calls the agent and the brokerage “negligent” for not using email servers with firewalls and encryption software to handle sensitive, personal information.