Personal Emails and Wire Fraud
Hello this is Deirdre Brown your settlement agent serving the District of Columbia Maryland and Virginia. Today I want to talk to you about wire fraud. I’m sure you’ve heard about this in the news. How a local title company was hit with a $1.2 million claim because of a wire fraud incident. What you don’t hear about are those smaller claims where some of these brokerages and title companies are getting hit with $10,000 or $20,000 claims.
How some of this happening is that hackers are hacking into the real estate agent’s and sending an email to the clients saying that they have attached the wire instructions for ABC title company. Send the title company your EMD or send them your cash to close. Because it’s coming from an email address that your client is familiar with, your email address. They follow the instructions.
One you should not be using email addresses that end with Gmail or Yahoo. You should be using your broker’s email address because if it does happen on your broker’s email server then your broker is responsible for the claim. If it happens on your personal email account many brokers have a policy that YOU are financially responsible or a claim will be placed against your E&O policy.
Number two you should be telling your buyers that they should always be reaching out to the title company at a number that has been previously provided to them to confirm the wire instructions. I get these calls every day but I’m not getting as many as I should be. People wire me money without calling me first to verify the wire instructions. Buyer need to know that they are not bothering us, we want them to call us. We do not want to be in the news and neither do you.
If you have more title related questions please reach out to us at lexicontitle.com