It’s not a great idea to open emails from Nigerian princes, but it’s a terrible idea to actually wire those princes any funds, no matter how great the promised payout is.
So, what about when you’re working with a credible title agency or settlement company on the sale of a property? Sending and receiving documents like wire instructions via email should be safe, right?
What is Business Email Compromise?
The real estate industry is rife with cases of business email compromise (BEC), which is certainly not a victimless crime. In BEC, fraudsters infiltrate an email account, often a title company employee’s. They then interact with property buyers posing as the title company employee, and email the wrong wire instructions to the buyer. Because the buyer is expecting to receive an email with wire instructions, and because they are going through an unfamiliar process (most Americans purchase a home approximately every 8 years), the buyer assumes the email and the wire instructions are legitimate. Once the home buyer wires their funds to the fraudster’s bank account, the money is likely gone forever. Whether the amount is $1,000 or $1,000,000, wires are immediate and typically irreversible. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Report, real estate wire fraud losses over the last five years have totaled $688,127,205.
How can Title Companies Protect their Clients from Business Email Compromise?
The one thing that would have protected almost all 58,834 victims from fraudsters would be if the real estate industry agreed to STOP emailing wire instructions and other important documents.
ClosingLock’s secure portal protects closing companies and their customers from business email compromise, social engineering, email spoofing, clone phishing, email hacking, imposter fraud and compromised accounts. Eliminate email from the real estate wiring process, so we can eliminate wire fraud from the real estate industry.
To learn more about protecting real estate transactions from wire fraud, contact ClosingLock today at (512) 270-3917.