Real estate wire fraud is growing leaps and bounds in recent years, with seemingly no end in sight. No one thinks they’ll be a victim of wire fraud, but criminals are becoming increasingly savvy in their schemes, using technology to spoof phone numbers and emails and preying on the fact that most homebuyers are on edge about their transactions in the days leading up to closing. Here are some stunning real estate wire fraud statistics to demonstrate the scope of the problem.
The FBI received over 23,000 Business Email Compromise (BEC) complaints in 2019.
Business Email Compromise involves scams in which legitimate business email accounts are compromised or spoofed in order to conduct unauthorized transfers of funds. The adjusted losses from these cases was over $1.7 billion.
Real estate wire fraud is growing exponentially.
From 2015 to 2017, there was a 1100% rise in the number of people reporting BEC scams involving real estate transactions, and there was a 2200% increase in the reported monetary losses, which means that criminals are seeing increasing success with these scams.
BEC scams are becoming more sophisticated.
A scam that began with criminals hacking or spoofing the email accounts of CEOs and CFOs has evolved into compromising personal emails, attorney emails, realtor emails, and even sending requests for W-2 information to be used for nefarious purposes.
There were 150 million dollars lost in real estate wire fraud in 2018.
According to the FBI, 11,300 people were victims of real estate wire fraud in 2018, which represents a 17% increase over 2017.
Financial institutions are seeing a rise in real estate wire transfer fraud.
According to the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud, 47% of major financial institutions have seen an increase in real estate wire transfer fraud over the past 12 months.
It’s harder than ever to identify phishing emails at a glance.
As scammers become better at what they do, Americans have a more difficult time identifying suspicious emails. While only 20% of Americans click on links in phishing emails that look legitimate, 50% of Americans click on the links in more sophisticated spearphishing emails.
That’s only the tip of the iceberg.
If you think these numbers are shocking, here’s a statistic that will really make your jaw drop: according to the FBI, only 15% of all wire fraud incidents are reported.
There are steps you can take to protect your customers.
At Closinglock, we offer title companies a simple solution to secure the closing process. Our real estate wire fraud prevention system protects you and your customers from social engineering, email spoofing, clone phishing, hacking, imposter fraud, and compromised accounts. Closinglock protects more than $2 billion worth of transactions every month by providing a more secure communication process. It’s why we’re trusted by Quicken Loans, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, US Bank, and other industry leaders.
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If you’d like to learn more about how you can protect your customers with Closinglock, contact us today to schedule a live demo.