Like many title agents, you have made cyber security a top issue, especially when it comes to wire instructions. Unfortunately, the real estate agents and attorneys that you work with still use their insecure email accounts as their main form of communication.
From ALTA – July 27, 2017
Here are five recent wire fraud schemes involving title and settlement companies:
Maryland, August 2017: The FBI says fraudsters used fake emails to fool a settlement company into wiring them the proceeds of the sale of a couple’s home. Amount lost: $411,548
New York, June 2017: A judge trying to sell her apartment received an email she thought was from her real estate lawyer telling her to wire money to an account. Amount lost: $1 million.
Washington, D.C., May 2017: The homebuyers sued the title company for the lost money, but also close to $5 million for an alleged violation of the RICO Act. The title company, which denies it had anything to do with the money going missing, said that it immediately contacted the FBI when the attack was discovered. Amount lost: $1.57 million.
Colorado, March 2017: A couple, who lost their life savings while trying to buy their dream retirement home, has filed suit alleging that none of the companies involved in the transaction—including a title company—did enough to protect sensitive financial information. Amount lost: $272,000
Minneapolis, September 2016: A retired couple hoping to buy a townhouse to be closer to their grandchildren received an email that looked like it came from the title company with instructions to wire money before the closing. They did. The email was fake. Amount lost: $205,000.
What is Inbound Wire Instruction Fraud?
1. A Real Estate Professional’s email is hacked.
2. A counterfeit email is sent to the buyer.
3. Buyer’s funds are diverted from escrow.
How Fraud Happens
Crooks have become wise to this and are hacking those weak email accounts and waiting for the opportunity to send a buyer false wire instructions that are directed to a “Nigerian Prince”. Then, POOF, the money is gone. The closing doesn’t happen and everyone gets sued.
How to Secure Wire Instructions
Fortunately, the solution is simple! Take the wire instructions out of email and store them encrypted in the cloud with ShortTrack. No Bad Person can send fraudulent wire instructions, as the true wire instructions will sync from the title company software to ShortTrack, where only the buyer can access them.
But wait… I have email encryption!
Not only is email encryption cumbersome, but it is inadequate. Would you send valuable documents via FedEx without requiring a signature on delivery? No, because the driver would leave them on the front doorstep – where anyone can grab it.
Why do it with email? Your encrypted emails, once delivered, sit unencrypted on your customers’ email servers. Don’t leave it on the email doorstep – keep it encrypted in the cloud, delegate access, and prevent an NPI breach with ShortTrack.
Don’t be a Security Breach Story
- Get ShortTrack Now
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