Cyber fraud is unhinged and has hit an epic level in real estate transactions. 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 email accounts of trusted parties in a transaction (agents, lenders and title providers) to introduce last minute changes to the funding process so that the buyer and/or seller will transfer funds to fraudulent company accounts. Most customers are easily tricked and nearly defenseless from these sophisticated acts of crime.
What’s the solution? It’s a layered approach that must include transforming our clients from fraud targets into strong allies who can help prevent fraud.
I will be speaking at an engaging ALTA ONE session this October in Miami, Florida titled “Make Your Customers the First Line of Defense” where we will dive deep into the following topics:
- Improving internet hygiene;
- Layering security to lower risk profiles;
- Seeing fraud before it starts;
- Do’s and Don’ts for communication; and
- Things that will “never happen” during a transaction
With the help of our customers, we can reduce fraud and turn our focus back to creating a great closing experience. Each participant will leave with a Top 10 Fraud Prevention Tips that can be shared with all agents, lenders, buyers and sellers to protect against fraud.