REALTORS Meet with FBI to Discuss Scams | The Wednesday Word

2014-12-30-scamsBack in October, the MAR Report issued a scam alert as part of Cyber Security Awareness Month. The MAR Legal Department also recorded a Sidebar on the topic. Unfortunately, MAR continues to hear reports of scams throughout the Commonwealth. The most common scam currently affecting the real estate industry is known as the “Business E-mail Compromise” or “BEC.”

To discuss what can be done regarding this scam, Massachusetts Association of REALTORS President Annie Blatz, Vice President of Legal Affairs Kurt Thompson, CEO Rob Authier, and General Counsel Michael McDonagh met with the Boston Economic Crime Squad of the FBI on Friday, March 4th, 2016. Together, the FBI and MAR agreed to increase awareness of these scams and educate REALTORS on ways to avoid and report the scam.

As this scam is prevalent in Massachusetts, the FBI and MAR encourage you to read this guide. The flyer contains an introduction to the scheme, common variations, suggestions for protecting yourself, and, most importantly, how and when to report the matter to the BFO-FBI. Print, e-mail, and/or share this document with your co-workers, and clients so everyone is prepared to react should the need arise.

Stay tuned for the next issue of the Bay State REALTOR Magazine for more advice on how to deal with scams, and do not hesitate to report any issues to

(Please note: This blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel; and Christine Howe, Public Policy and Finance Coordinator)

Graduate REALTOR® Institute Course Next Week!

The Graduate REALTOR® Institute ( GRI) 302 will be held on November 4th & 5th back in Waltham. This portion of the GRI will cover must know topics such as industrial, commercial, and international real estate. GRI 302 also dives into forclosures, short sales, and closing and settlement. Don’t miss the opportunity to expand your knowledge and increase your value and get started now with the GRI program that can set you apart from the competition! Click here to sign up.

Tax Break Webinar: Put Thousands of Dollars Back in Your Pocket

Did you know that you can qualify for some amazing tax breaks that could put thousands of dollars back in your pocket? The webinar is presented by Sandy Botkin, former IRS trainer, CPA, and tax attorney. This powerful presentation will show you five strategies to save BIG money on your taxes and stay out of trouble with the IRS! You can also learn how to get the equivalent of free gas for your car, write off significantly more of your meals and your entertainment, how to deduct the equivalent of your child’s education and wedding, and much more!.The webinar will be held on November 4th, 2014 @ 10:00am . Click here to register.

Last Day to Register for MAR Conference & Tradeshow!

On Wednesday October 1st @ 5:00pm the 2014 MAR Conference & Tradeshow registration will end. The event is almost sold out, and if you don’t want to miss your chance to see Stefan Swanepoel, Max Pigman, Leigh Brown, and many more click here to register!  Checkout other must-see sessions on the Convention website and take a peek at some of this year’s fun networking opportunities. See you at the Seacrest!

Save the date for MAR Conference & Tradeshow in October!

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Please join us back at the Sea Crest Beach Hotel in Falmouth on October 6th and 7th for this year’s annual Conference and Tradeshow. The Professional Awards Dinner will take place on Sunday, October 5th. Once again,the convention has an outstanding lineup of returning and new national speakers such as Stefan Swanepoel, Nathan Jamail, Leigh Brown, Michael Maher, and more! Don’t miss two-days filled with courses on sales, marketing, technology and much more. Click here to check out the 2014 Conference website.