Fraudsters are always looking for new ways to separate you from your money. The way they get it is often the same; they send you something that stops you in your tracks, something that gets your emotions up; something alarming, concerning, or that gets your ire up, even something that brings out our best qualities of compassion and willingness to help. They use our emotions to get past our poise and critical thinking.
Cyber Security and Wire Fraud, two terms that are becoming more familiar to people. In day to day operations, most people do not think of Cyber Security, and Cyber Crime is that thing that happens to other people.
Most people have only heard about Fraud and Data Breaches on the news. Today, more people in the Real Estate industry know someone whose computer was infected by a virus or have been involved in wire fraud (either successful or unsuccessful).
You should have policies and procedures in place to classify the information you collect and store, and how to protect consumer information. All sensitive information entered into your production system should be encrypted when saved. And emails you send that contain sensitive inf0rmation should be encrypted before they are sent.
While the increased availability of online shopping is convenient, it also makes it more lucrative for scammers to trick buyers into paying for goods they won’t receive or obtain their personal information for financial gain.
For many in the Real Estate Settlement Services industry this is their worst nightmare: the moment you realize that you have acted on fraudulent wire instructions, and the funds are gone. Panic sets in. You are trying to find the guidelines you have on what steps you need to take. You quickly call your bank, you report the fraud at the FBI’s website, you try to reach out to the FBI and local law enforcement. Now what? You feel powerless. You feel like you have no control. You want to get this fixed now!