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Wire Transfer Scams Involving Title Companies (ThreatAdvice Course Overview)

Recently, the global pandemic has opened an avenue for hackers to mimic title companies as wire transfer scams. Wire fraud is a criminal act in which hackers create a scheme to deceive victims of money or property. Hackers are taking advantage of relaxed users working from home with less online security measures in place. 

Hackers create frauds by sending emails to victims that resemble messages from a real estate agent or title company. The cybercriminals then convince the victim to reroute their wire transfer to a new destination. Once the victim wires the money through the wrong channel, the money is lost because it never arrived at the intended destination. 

How to avoid wire transfer scams

Many title companies are now telling their clients that verbal communication and confirmation is the best defense against wire fraud. Consumers considering a purchase of property should have open dialog with their title company about the threat of wire fraud. Title companies should secure any communication that is conducted through email by encrypting messages. 

When watching for potential wire transfer scams, users should look for the following:

  • Emails that come from a name that isn’t associated with the title company
  • Emails that mimic message characteristics of the title company like greetings or signatures
  • Instructions to change the wiring transfer destination. Title companies will not send emails to clients regarding new wiring instructions.
  • Emails attempting to divert funds prior to closing
  • Phishing attempts that ask users to verify their login credentials or follow a link to fix issues with their account

Users should expect their title company to be in constant communication with them from the beginning of the process all the way through closing. Email communication should be handled with caution. Users should always reach out to their title company if they suspect that they’ve received a fraudulent email. 

Summary:

Wire fraud is a criminal act in which hackers create a scheme to deceive victims of money or property. Hackers are taking advantage of relaxed users working from home with less online security measures in place. Many title companies are now telling their clients that verbal communication and confirmation is the best defense against wire fraud. Title companies should secure any communication that is conducted through email by encrypting messages. Email communication should be handled with caution. Users should always reach out to their title company if they suspect that they’ve received a fraudulent email.

For assistance in evaluating your strategies, technical requirements, staff evaluations and communications contact a ThreatAdvice Professional to learn more.

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