Data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation shows that there were over 11,300 victims of real estate wire fraud in 2018, who lost a total of nearly $150 million – a 166% increase as compared to 2017. And this may be just the tip of the iceberg, with only an estimated 12-15% of the fraud reported. (Source: ALTA)
How does wire fraud work? Scammers may compromise a key email account by methods such as phishing, social media engineering or spoofed emails. They then fraudulently transfer funds to criminal controlled accounts. Often, the victim who receives the email is tricked into thinking that it is a legitimate email from a trusted source & continues with making the payment not knowing that they are transferring money to the fraudster’s account.
Did you know: 1 in every 99 emails is a phishing attack which amounts to 4.8 phishing emails per employee per week! (ALTA)
Want to know all about how fraudsters play their dirty game? Check out this blog to know more. Click here
Wire transfer fraud is a major threat to all title insurance companies irrespective of their size, location or years in business. It is critical that these title insurance companies take adequate measures to ensure they are not hit with such fraud. The solution may include increased diligence and deploying multi-layered technology working together with trained professionals
Want to know how phishing works? Check out this infographic by ALTA
Wire fraud is a national epidemic and it’s important to educate your customers about the threat of wire transfer frauds. ALTA has launched a coalition to stop real estate wire transfer fraud with an aim to raise awareness and educate customers about how to protect themselves during the home buying process. The website can be found at stopwirefraud.org
Meanwhile some preventive measures you can take to help protect your company against wire transfer fraud are:
- Informing your clients that you will never ask them to send sensitive information via email.
- Not opening or clicking on any links in suspicious emails.
- Ensuring that username & passwords change frequently.
- Double checking and verifying the information intended for the recipient.
Title & settlement companies are on the front line in the battle against wire transfer fraud & need to be aware of how to tackle both Business Email Compromise (BEC) & Email Account Compromise (EAC) frauds.
To boost their security, title & settlement companies should work with vendors and suppliers, like SLK Global Solutions, who have the required certifications including ISO 27001:2013 (for Information Security Management), SSAE – SOC 1 & 2 (financial controls), etc. which ensure that secure and robust information security and risk management processes and infrastructure is already in place.
Do let us know what do you think of the blog and what steps has your company taken to avoid wire fraud. Reach us at email@example.com to know more about how we can help your title insurance operations become safer and more efficient.