What to Do If Your Business Faces a Ransom Threat

Two REALTORS® who were ensnared in cybersecurity schemes share how you can protect yourself and your business from scammers.
Skull & Crossbones on Electronic Equipment

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Evolving wire fraud schemes and ransomware attacks are putting you and your clients at risk every day. Randy Hatada, CRS, broker-owner of Xpand Realty in Las Vegas, had his company’s phone line—which was in operation for 13 years—taken down and held for ransom. Bill Soffel, president and CEO of ERA Team VP Real Estate in Chautauqua, N.Y., has helped his agents and their clients recover from wire fraud schemes. They share their difficult experiences bouncing back from these scams and impart lessons for other real estate professionals to keep their sensitive information, business operations and clients safe from cybersecurity threats.

Bill Soffel

Soffel started his real estate career as the director of sales and marketing for a Chautauqua-based resort property development firm. Over the course of 15 years, he’s participated in the launch of a real estate brokerage, a vacation rental business and a community association management firm. He subsequently founded ERA Team VP Real Estate in 1990, and as president and CEO, he has grown the company to support 90+ agents across two main locations and several satellite offices in Western New York and Northwest Pennsylvania.

Randy Hatada

Hatada was raised on the Big Island of Hawaii, then relocated to Las Vegas in 2000 after receiving a degree in business from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Since 2005, he’s been an active REALTOR® and later became broker-owner of Xpand Realty.