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Transaction Fraud Continues to Escalate - Protect Yourself and Your Client!

Cyber fraud is unhinged and has hit an epic level in real estate transactions.  We saw a significant change in the level of sophistication and precision last summer and it has only gotten worse.  Wire fraud activity increased 480% last year in the title industry alone and cyber crime is estimated to reach $2T by the end of 2019.  To put this in perspective, only eight countries in the world are expected to have GDP above $2T this year.

Cyber criminals are successfully using phishing scams to gain access to the accounts of representatives in a transaction (agents, lenders and title providers) to introduce a last minute change to the funding process andmanipulate the transfer of buyer and seller funds to fraudulent company accounts.  Here's a link to the first lawsuit filed in Colorado by a couple who lost over $272K in a recent wire fraud (I promise it's a good link).  The couple named the real estate brokerage, lender and title company - this is the first case of its kind nationally and is being closely watched to see how the courts will assign fault (if any) for failing to educate and keep the couple safe from fraud.

Last Friday the CFPB took a historical step in releasing a Consumer Warning on its blog warning consumers of mortgage closing scams that are rippling across the country.  It includes a great summary of how the fraud starts, how clients are harmed and practical fraud prevention tips. Other federal agencies have issued similar releases such has the Federal Trade CommissionFinCEN and the FBI

We recently published a set of recommended best practices that can be found at: Sun Title Data Security Best Practice Tips

We are leading a national webinar that will be held on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 from 2-3pm EST.  We will be speaking with Matthew Froning, an expert in cyber security and best practices.  Please take the time to register for this webinar.

In order to keep ourselves and our clients safe from cyber crime, we must adopt a culture of compliance and curiosity.  There is no "silver bullet" to keep us safe but rather the need to layer hardware, software, process and educational best practices to lower our digital risk profiles. 

Please watch this video preview of the webinar for more information. 

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Other Locations

ionia-office-small Ionia:
331 West Main Street
Ionia, MI 48846
Phone: (616) 522-9311
Fax: (616) 458-9300 
gville 1 Grandville:
4600 Ivanrest Avenue SW
Grandville, MI 49418
Phone: (616) 551-2668
Fax: (616) 458-9300
       
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732 Washington Ave.
Grand Haven, MI 49417
Phone: (616) 935-7950
Fax: (616) 458-9300
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Big Rapids, MI 49307
Phone: (231) 598-9540
Fax: (231) 683-4711
       
rockford-office-small

Rockford (Downtown):
124 Courtland Street NE
Rockford, MI 49341
Phone: (616) 951-7032
Fax: (616) 458-9300 

kzoo 1  Kalamazoo:
925 S. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI 49001
Phone: (269) 888-1100
Fax: (616) 458-9300
       

Michigan’s Leading Real Estate Transaction and Title Services Company
Sun Title provides real estate title insurance, escrow, closing and settlement services

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