The title industry has become a hotbed for cyber fraud. With banks locking down on cyber fraud, the criminals have found another place to steal large amounts of money. We are all at risk. There is so much cyber fraud that the authorities will not even get involved unless the amount lost is higher than $250,000.
One of the most common ways that companies and people have been hit is through email. A person will send bogus wiring instructions to title companies, banks or agents. Then money is wired out the wrong place. Unfortunately, by the time it has been discovered, it is too late. The money is gone.
There are ways to prevent this, however. Here a few tips:
1. Don't EVER send wiring instructions in an unsecure email.
2. Don't trust emails. Tell your client to always call to get verbal approval of the instructions.
3. If you are an agent, it would be best to take yourself out of the equation altogether. If your client needs to wire money to the title company for closing have the title company or lender send wiring instructions directly to your client.
4. Use a secure email or link whenever possible (we will be happy to let you know how to do this)
5 If your seller is having their funds wired to them, have them work with the title company on how to get them that info securely.
6 Make sure your passwords contain both upper and lower case, a symbol, and a number.
7 If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Trust your instincts.
Be patient with lenders and title companies. We all have a lot of usernames and passwords, but they are for all of our protections. Adding a few steps to the process could save thousands of dollars in the long run.