How To Prevent Wire Fraud
It’s an unfortunate truth, but billions of dollars are being lost due to cyber and wire fraud.
Frequently, fraudulent wire instructions are sent to the consumer. The consumer sends the funds to a fraudulent account and the funds can be lost forever. Everyone must work together to stop this before it happens.
Be Aware Of Your Email
Everyone should assume that all regular email is being watched by fraudsters.
Keep Consumers Informed
Inform the consumer early and often. Many consumers do not know what we do and don’t understand the process. Real estate agents are the first line of defense. Fraud can happen before a file ever reaches a title company.
Protect Your Files
Ideally, wire instructions are physically handed to the consumer. Alternately, they can be sent by encrypted email or by way of a password protected file.
The consumer should be told repeatedly to never wire funds using instructions from regular email that is not encrypted.
Consumers should double check wiring instructions with a reputable source before sending a wire.
Never Use Changed Instructions
Consumers should never wire funds using instructions that have been changed.
If It Does Happen...
In the event that funds are wired to a bogus account, actions should be taken immediately to enhance the chance that the funds can be returned. After 24-48 hours would likely be too late.