Real estate transactions are some of the higher value transactions commonly done by individuals and companies.  As such, they have become an increasing large target for hackers.

The way a typical scam works is first the hacker gains access to the email of one of the involved parties – the buyer, seller, real estate agent, lender, attorney or title agent.  Next, they take note of important transaction details such as down payment amounts and closing dates.

As the closing date approaches, the scammer poses as one of the other parties and sends new instructions for wiring funds.  

For example, if the law firm’s domain is www.somelawfirm.com the hacker might register the domain www.s0melawfirm.com and send the email from that domain. Most people wouldn’t notice the “O” in the word “some” is actually the number “0” in the second domain name.

The unsuspecting victim then mistakenly sends funds to the scammer and not the correct party.  By the time everyone realizes that a mistake has been made, the scammer is long gone.

How to help protect yourself, your company, and clients:

Use Secure Passwords

We usually recommend 10-12 characters minimum with a mixture of capital letters, lower case letters, numbers, and symbols. 6 to 8 characters may not be secure enough anymore.

Never Click Links In Email

Instruct your staff, partners and clients to never click links or buttons in email, even if they know the sender.  Emails can easily be spoofed to appear legitimate.

Secure Your Email and Website

If your email isn’t secure, your data could be compromised if someone were to hack your email server.  Also, contact forms, title quote forms, and order forms on your website should also be secure to protect NPI data such as social security numbers and details about an individual or transaction.

Have a Written Agreement on How Funds Are To Be Transferred

Make sure all parties know well before the closing how funds are to be transferred and that any changes to that will require another written agreement with signature.

Do you want to better protect your business and website from cyber fraud? First, share this article with your staff to keep them safe, then request a demo today to learn how TitleTap can help.

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