If you’re starting a real estate blog these days, it’s an unwritten rule that one of your first posts must be about wire fraud or another aspect of cybercrime. Here’s our post to follow those rules. All of us have done a great job talking about the dangers of these scams, but the truth is the threat is still out there.
As ALTA says, we all must remain vigilant to do what we can to better protect our customers, their transactions and their money. Remind our colleagues and our clients today’s scams are sophisticated and calculated. Blatant misspellings and bad grammar are tells of the past.
We’re reminded of this story from 2021. In it, the victim said he exchanged 23 emails with the scammers. Those messages included, among other things, the transaction’s Closing Disclosure paperwork, the legitimate name and signature from his closing agent, and even a note of congratulations to fool him into thinking the communication was legit.
Be sure your colleagues, partners and clients are using email secured by multi-factor authentication and strong passwords. This will help prevent phishing, which is often the first step for a hack. Not to sound cliché, but remember it takes only one weak link, so keep sounding these warnings. If you’re a title company, consider investing in a wire fraud prevention tool. There are plenty out there. Your underwriter likely has some recommendations for you.
Finally, here are some red flags you can pass along to any party involved in your transactions. Be sure to add that your customer should call you to verify any changes if anything seems even a little bit off during the transaction.
Thank you for trusting BBS Notary Services for all your notary needs! We hope you and your customers find this information useful. Together, we can keep fighting wire fraud.