Resources include Disclaimer to add to your e-mail, 3-minute Video overview outlining wire fraud avoidance, Anti-Fraud Website, NAR's Cybersecurity Checklist, Anti-Fraud Advisory Addendum, Additional Tips for Agents
WARNING – FRAUDULENT WIRE FUNDS:
Email hacking and fraud are on the rise to fraudulently misdirect funds. There have been more than $150 million in lost funds and more than 10,000 incidents in the last year alone.
This is a real issue that can affect you, the company, and most importantly our clients.
It isn’t something you just read about but has involved your fellow agents.
INCLUDING- 2 SERIOUS INCIDENTS INVOLVING OVER $200,000 IN ATTEMPTED WIRE FRAUD.
What do you need to do to protect the client, the company, and you?
Explain the Anti-Fraud Addendum to each and every client. We have them sign it multiple times during the transaction because of the risk involved for them. It is real.
Make sure the client knows you will never ever send them wire instructions, forward them wire instructions, or be copied on the wire instructions. Title Companies simply do not request our involvement.
Know the Signs of Potential Wire Fraud
It would be highly unusual for updated, last-minute or new wire instructions to be sent to a client. Inform them that if that happens it likely is a sign of fraud. As would the money being sent out of state or any place other than the Title Company closing the transaction.
Discuss Best Pratices
Please have your client call the Title Company directly to verify any wiring instructions received from a trusted verifiable number - not a phone number in the suspect email.
Emphasize Key Realty will never send any electronic communications with wire instructions or ask for any private information.
Please refer to the Anti-Fraud Advisory for additional information
BE CAREFUL, DON’T FORWARD WIRING INSTRUCTIONS FROM ANYBODY TO ANYBODY FOR ANY REASON.
If there is an issue immediately refer to the Key Realty Wire Fraud Rapid Response Plan below. Time matters in resolving these issues. The first 24 hours are critical.
Remind the client - Protect their money. Verify everything. Call your trusted professional before sending money. And then check again.
Inform yourself by attending Anti-Fraud classes as well as reviewing these powerful links below.
Resources and Videos
2-minute video on how to protect your clients
Ways to protect your clients - StopWireFraud.org
Key Realty Anti Fraud Addendum
NAR's Cyber Security Checklist - Best Practices for Real Estate Professionals
Real Estate Agent - Best Practices for your Email Account
Sample Signature Verbiage
WARNING – FRAUDULENT WIRE FUNDS: Email hacking and fraud are on the rise to fraudulently misdirect funds. Please call the Title Company directly to verify any wiring instructions received. Key Realty will never send you any electronic communications with wire instructions or ask for any private information. We are not responsible for any wires sent by you to an incorrect bank account. Please refer to the Anti-Fraud Advisory for additional information or contact our corporate office at 419-777-5391
TIP: Add Multi-Factor Authentication to your Email Account
It is important to add Multi-Factor Authentication to your e-mail account if available. This requires the user to be identified by multiple methods for accessing a password reset. This step adds an additional layer of protection to you and your accounts which greatly reduces your liability.
Additional Tips for Agents
- Warn Early and Often: Make sure your clients know about the growing and the looming threat of real estate wire transfer fraud.
- Educate: Remind your client that you will not send changes to wiring instructions or payment information
- Call: Tell your client to call you to confirm all wiring instructions, and soon after they make any wire transfers.
Key Realty Wire Fraud Rapid Response Plan
- Step 1: Alert Key Realty Management: Call your manager or the corporate office at 419-777-5391 and email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Step 2: Report Fraudulent Wire Transfers to the Sending and Receiving Banks.
- Step 3: Report Fraudulent Wire Transfers and Attempts to Law Enforcement.
- Step 4: Call the sending bank again to confirm that the recall request has been processed.
- Step 5: Inform the parties to the transaction (buyer, seller, real estate agents, title company, broker, attorneys, underwriter, notary, etc.) using known, trusted, phone numbers for verbal verification.
- Step 6: Review your Incident Response Plan to determine if you need to update passwords, secure hardware, and review email logs to determine how and when email accounts were accessed.
- Step 7: Consider contacting your insurance carrier(s) and outside legal counsel.
- Step 8: If funds were wired out of the U.S., hire an attorney in that country to help recover funds.
- Step 9: File a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).