SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A Sioux Falls resident recently lost $47,000 to a scammer while trying to buy a house.

The head of a local Title Company and the Better Business Bureau of South Dakota show us how to protect your money when buying or selling property.

“We do see quite a few phishing attempts. Any title company will see phishing attempts on their email on a daily basis,” said First Dakota Title COO Michael Anderson.

Anderson said once you click on a scammer’s phishing email link, they wait and try to steal your down payment.

“They might send a spoofed email and it will re direct saying, hey send your funds here instead, this has changed. If someone’s not aware what’s going on, it’s an emotional situation when you’re buying a home, they do it without thinking and the money is gone,” Anderson said.

Anderson said First Dakota Title was not involved in the recent Sioux Falls scam. But he said the pressure from the hot real estate market here makes buyers vulnerable.

“It is hard to get a home in Sioux Fall right now in certain price ranges and when you’re in a bidding war with someone, you’re going to act quickly without thinking sometimes so they take advantage of the vulnerability and the next thing you know something goes wrong and you might have lost the down payment for your dream home,” Anderson said.

First Dakota Title and the Better Business Bureau of South Dakota say you can protect your dream with a simple phone call.

“If you’re ever in doubt, pick up the telephone, call your real estate agent, call the escrow company, they will get back to you,” said Jessie Schmidt with the South Dakota Better Business Bureau.

“If you have questions, call a verified number, don’t trust the information in the email that was sent to you,” said Anderson.

South Dakota is one of a dozen that does not allow real estate records online. Anderson says that makes it’s harder for scammers to get the information they need.