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SentriLock's BlueTooth® REALTOR® Lockbox

SentriLock - Your Secure Lockbox Solution

 

The SentriLock Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox provides ironclad security for your clients’ most valuable investment. It still gives you and those you designate quick and easy access into the property. The lockbox in combination with the SentriKey® Real Estate app is a powerful combination for your business.

Get Connected

The SentriLock Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox features Bluetooth® technology that directly connects to the app and gets you and your client into the home quickly. As soon as the SentriLock Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox is opened, you will receive a notification through the app that someone is entering the property.

You’ll Love the App

Functions such as accessing the key, releasing the shackle, and assigning to a property can be performed with accessing the SentriKey® Real Estate app. Accessing a property has never been so easy.

No Cell Coverage? No Problem

Thanks to Bluetooth® connectivity, you still have immediate access to the home when you’re out of cell service range. It’s perfect for those listings in areas that have spotty or non-existing cell service.

It’s Never Under the Weather

The SentriLock Bluetooth® REALTOR® Lockbox is designed to withstand just about anything, including the weather. Clever engineering makes this lockbox more weather resistant than ever before. Our lockbox also features a battery life that will blow others away. And if you need to change batteries, it can be done using the app and a new battery kit.

 

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Don't Fall for It: 4 New Online and Offline Scams and How to Protect Yourself
Scammers are becoming increasingly crafty in robbing people of their money or personal information. In the past year alone, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has received over 800,000 reports of online mischief, causing over $6.9 billion in estimated losses. As we near the holiday season, the number of scams often increase. Even when you are extra cautious to remain safe online, you may not be able to spot when you are being scammed. And while we've written about this topic before here, here and here, with the internet and mobile apps constantly evolving and changing, online scammers are developing new methods to con people. So perhaps the most important thing we can advocate is learning to sense when something seems suspicious. Here are four new online – and offline – scams becoming common today and what you can do to protect yourself: Zelle + Venmo Scams Peer-to-peer payment apps such as Zelle and Venmo have become increasingly popular as it gives you the ability and convenience to transfer money electronically to someone instantly. In 2021 alone, Zelle users sent almost a half-billion dollars in payments, totaling nearly 1.8 billion transactions. But recently, scammers are taking advantage of how these apps work – and the rules surrounding them – to rob people. Through social engineering, they utilize fraudulent info and scare tactics to trick you into authorizing money transfers to them. A common ploy: You get a text to your phone marked "Fraud Alert," indicating it is coming from your bank, asking, "Did you attempt a Zelle payment of $5,000? Reply YES or NO." If you respond in any way, you will immediately receive a phone call from the scammer pretending to be from your bank's fraud department. Scammers can even make it look like it is coming from a legitimate number at your bank. The scammer then asks you to verify your identity with "just your username" – insisting they never would ask for your password over the phone to appear legitimate. The scammer then asks you to read back a passcode they sent via text or email. What you may not realize is that once the fraudster gets your username, they initiate a "forgot password" request on your banking site: that generates the authentication passcode you receive. Once the scammer has the passcode you gave them, they hijack your Zelle account and transfer funds. If this happens to you, what do you do? First, ignore the text, look up your bank's fraud department phone number online (or on the back of your ATM card), and call your bank directly to verify that the request is authentic. The biggest rule of thumb: Never text back on a request related to Zelle. Why? Most people don't realize that these direct payment apps do not protect an "authorized fund transfer," so it's nearly impossible to get your money back once it is sent. The scams currently being used are considered authorized transfers because the victim gives the scammer information they seek or takes the action they ask to be performed. Despite Zelle being owned by seven major banks – Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Bank, U.S. Bank, Capital One, and Truist ­– if you knowingly send cash to someone, Zelle maintains the transfer is an authorized transfer under the law. Even when the payment is made under false pretenses or misrepresentation, it is not covered by the Electronic Fund Transfer Act of 1978, so you are out of luck, and there are no protections in place to help you get your money back. Finally, whenever using Zelle or Venmo, the most important rule is to triple-check your accuracy. Make sure to carefully proofread – at least three times – the recipient's mobile phone number or email address before hitting send. Because if you make an error, Zelle and the bank that offers it say it's your mistake, not theirs. Google Voice Scam Google Voice is a virtual phone app that provides a free phone number that you link to your Google account. Once set up, it allows you to automatically send text messages or make mobile calls from your PC or mobile phone. Google Voice phone numbers work like any other mobile phone, allowing you to take and receive calls. Unfortunately, scammers are using Google Voice in nefarious ways. Because Google Voice numbers are both free and untraceable, scammers love them. One common con today is when a scammer links their Google Voice number to your phone number. Scammers will search online selling sites such as Facebook Marketplace. They will pretend to be buyers and text the seller's mobile phone number on the listing, expressing interest. However, the scammer will text the seller, "Please send the Google Voice verification code I just sent to verify that you're a real person." Once the scammer tricks the seller and gets the code, they can use the Google Voice number tied to the seller's Google account to scam others. How can you protect yourself? Never share a Google Voice verification code — if you are asked, it is likely a scam. Amazon Scams According to research by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), Amazon is reported to be the most impersonated business, with one in three scammers claiming to work for the company. As Amazon is a widely used service, it makes it easy for phishers to send messages or emails under their branding. Frequently, a scammer will call, text, or email you about suspicious activity on your Amazon account. After they confirm they "stopped the fraudulent purchase," they will offer a "credit" to your account for your inconvenience. They will then ask you for your password to finalize the credit. But instead, the Amazon impersonators will use it to cheat you out of cash and purchases. To avoid being conned, realize that it is unlikely Amazon will call you. If they do, an Amazon employee never will ask for your password. Or, if you get an email that appears to be from Amazon, look carefully at the full sender address (it should be an Amazon email address) and the actual URL in the email by right-clicking on the link. As Amazon warns its customers, "Legitimate Amazon websites have a dot before 'amazon.com' such as http://something.amazon.com. For example, Amazon Pay website is https://pay.amazon.com/. We'll never send emails with links to an IP address (a string of numbers), such as http://123.456.789.123/amazon.com/. If the link takes you to a site that is not a legitimate Amazon domain, then it is likely phishing." Bogus Tech Support Even today, tech support scams are still alive and kicking. Some scammers will impersonate a technical support worker and manipulate you into paying for services you don't need. Others will offer to install a malware protection program or "clean" your computer from viruses, only to install fraudulent software that gives a scammer access to your computer. Anyone who calls you unprompted to offer tech support should raise a major red flag. If someone offers you free tech support and then asks you for permission to access your computer remotely, hang up. How to protect yourself from Tech Support scammers: Tell them you have all the technical support you need, disconnect the call, and block their number. While the holidays can bring out the scammers, they are also a time when you may need help setting up new tech you've acquired or received as a gift. If you have questions about how to connect a new printer, set up email on a new phone, or troubleshoot something else, remember that Tech Helpline – your legitimate member benefit — is ready to help and only a click, call, or text away. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline
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Social Media and Kids: 5 Ways Realtor Parents Can Monitor What's Going On
As a parent, what can you do to protect your child from the potential dangers of social media? After all, while nearly all social networking sites allow users 13 years and older, it is not uncommon to discover children younger than 13 are active on social media. In fact, 95% of all teens use YouTube, and two out of three teens use TikTok, according to Pew Research. What's the best way to monitor what's happening when your child is online? Here are five ways you can keep dibs on your kids: Use an app Children are getting tablets and smartphones at a younger age more than ever. In addition, the pandemic accelerated the need for all school-age children to use the internet for schooling and schoolwork. This has made it particularly challenging for parents to monitor online behavior continuously. Thankfully, there are several different monitoring apps available that parents can use to protect their children from the unsafe elements of the internet and social media and monitor their screen time. One example is the top-ranked parental control app Bark. It's a paid application that monitors texts, emails, YouTube streaming, and social media platforms for signs of unsafe online behavior such as cyberbullying, internet predators, depressive behavior, threats of violence, and so forth. Its content monitoring tech will send you email and text alerts when it detects harmful issues, allowing you to talk to your child to ensure they are okay and staying safe. Bark offers two different packages: Bark Jr. ($5/month or $49/year), designed for families with young children, and Bark Premium ($14/month or $99/year), geared towards families with students of all ages. Each payment plan also comes with a 7-day free trial. Other monitoring apps include mSpy, Qustodio, and Net Nanny Family Protect Pass. Link your accounts Nearly half of all agents use Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, and know from experience that managing multiple social media accounts can be time-consuming. But did you know you can link your accounts to your kids? For example, Google Family Link is a free tool that links your Google Account to your child's account. This application allows parents to limit what apps their kid downloads and restrict their screen time. It also allows you to look through your child's browsing activity on Google Chrome and track where your kid is if they are using their device outside the house. It can be used on up to six devices and only requires you and your child have a Google Account. Facebook also allows parents to add family and friends with an existing Facebook account as friends for their child, using a Parent Dashboard. Parents can also create a Messenger Kid's account for their child and connect to their child's Messenger Kid's account. TikTok will automatically disable Direct Messages, disallow private accounts, restrict comments to friends or no one, and won't allow videos to be remixed or downloaded for children 13-15 years of age. If you allow your child of age to use TikTok, be sure the correct birth year and date are entered because once an account is created with that date, the birth date cannot be changed. Require password access to keep an account If you are not monitoring your kid's online behavior, you must be able to access their account information, especially with the abundance of cyberbullying. A recommended quid pro quo: if your child has online accounts, you will always need their current password. Child safety experts recommend setting ground rules for your child, which includes always having the ability to access their online accounts, including email, text, chat, and social media. A best practice is to sit down with your child and work with them to create their social media profile so you can set up their privacy and safety features to protect them from harmful behavior or content. Review their history Once you have access, you must keep track of your child's online activity regularly. It would be best if you went through your child's search and browsing history to ensure they are not being exposed to harmful web content or messages from others. Unmonitored internet behavior can lead to bad decisions. All major web browsers offer a "History" option on the top menu, so it's easy to do. Even smartphone browsers provide built-in history tracking. In addition, parental control apps can automate much of this process. One history app – Famisafe – allows parents to track browser history in both regular and private mode. It also filters out suspicious websites, alerts you on websites your child visits, and comes with screen time controls to limit internet time or lock them out of using a browser. In addition, Famisafe provides Home plans for under $50 a year. Restrict social use to a laptop or desktop: no apps on phones If your child has a smartphone, they can easily access content you don't want them to see. Instilling a house rule that only allows social media access on a laptop or desktop will give you control over what social media accounts your child can access. This means having a family rule that restricts the download of any social media app on their phone. If all of this seems a little harsh, consider that Facebook removed over 36 million posts that encouraged suicide or self-injury last year alone. As a parent, the safest rule for your child's online behavior and use of social media is to trust but verify. If you need assistance monitoring your kid's social media or downloading or setting up a parental control app, contact Tech Helpline, and one of our analysts will guide you through the process. To view the original article, visit the Tech Helpline
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The Future of Agent Safety: A Conversation with Carl Carter, Jr.
While last month, September, was Realtor Safety Month, agent safety should be a consideration all year round. According to the National Association of REALTORS, over 40% of real estate agents have experienced a situation that made them feel unsafe, most often during showings or when meeting a client at a property for the first time (2021 Member Safety Report). In a recent interview with Carl Carter, Jr., REALTOR® and founder of the Beverly Carter Foundation, he echoed need for ongoing awareness and safety protocols for those in the real estate industry. Carl started the Beverly Carter Foundation in January 2017 in response to the tragic death of his mother, Beverly Carter, a REALTOR® on September 25, 2014. "My mother was besieged by two people posing as clients who lured her to a property with the intention of kidnapping her and holding her for ransom because they perceived her to be this wealthy real estate professional," said Carter. "When their plan didn't go as they thought that it would, they made the tragic, awful decision to end her life." "Her story brought a national lens to the issue of agent safety. I began speaking out as a son who loved his mother and received such an outpouring of support," said Carter. "During this time, so many also shared their own stories [that] they, or someone they knew, had been victimized while working in real estate. And it's all not just these horrific homicides and crimes. The victimization is all across the board. We frequently hear about things being stolen at open houses, but I most often hear about crimes against female agents by men who make unwanted advances." Additionally, increases in online harassment and online stalking are on the rise due to real estate agents being such public salespeople. "This career lends itself to those types of behaviors, unfortunately," said Carter. The foundation is solely dedicated to agent awareness of the dangers that exist in industries such as the real estate business, where people are working alone. "We see shifts in the way people are victimized," remarked Carter. Changes in technology and the way people interact now has shifted and, with it, more and more interactions happening online has made it easier for harassment to take place. "Unfortunately, I would love to say that we are close to mission accomplished, but I think we still have our work cut out for us to help make the industry a safer place," said Carter. Understanding the need to take steps to protect yourself both inside and outside of the work environment is pivotal for staying safe. "The industry has done a pretty good job of addressing the issue of safety," said Carter, "but I feel we have a long way to go to ensure agents stay safe and don't let their guard down. I think we need to continue to raise awareness about safety issue and make sure that everyone, Realtors and the general public, are aware of the risks involved in our job. Additionally, associations can assist members through keeping this issue at the forefront and not just highlighting during the month of September." From our conversation with Carter, SentriLock has outlined a number of tips you can follow to keep yourself safe and avoid becoming the victim of a crime. When first meeting with a client, have that meeting in a public place and avoid secluded areas. Stop working with strangers. Before you have any business dealings, show a property, list a property, before you are alone with someone, be sure to strip away that anonymity. Apps such as FOREWARN allow you to do a background check, giving you information prior to face-to-face meeting. Ensure your technology is updated and use it. The SentriKey® Real Estate app provides agents with a feature that will automatically and discreetly alert an emergency contact when they do not feel safe or if the contact cannot confirm an agent's safety. Wherever possible, do not work alone, particularly during open houses where you are vulnerable to strangers. Do a pulse check on your online space. Agents are public figures, and frequently their online activity is 100% public. It is easy to lose sight of the fact that anyone can see those posts about a new car, vacation, etc., framing people's perceptions, which could lead to an agent being victimized. Be sure someone knows your schedule and locations and check in frequently. Follow your instincts. If the situation feels uncomfortable or you are fearful, leave or reach out to your emergency contact. Use tools and apps where you know your data and your client data is secure. With SentriLock, you can be assured that your private data is never shared or used. Have a plan for what to do if something goes wrong. While Carter sees immense progress being made in the industry, he feels there is always more that can be done. Agent safety is an important consideration that should be taken all year round. By taking some simple precautions cautions and using tools, agents can help keep themselves safe while working in any environment. To view the original article, visit the SentriLock
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