In today’s world, wire fraud is not only costly but also pervasive. According to a survey, BEC (Business Email Compromise) instances have caused over $26 billion loss domestically and internationally from 2016 to 2019. The fraudulent activities have affected almost all business domains, and the real estate industry is not an exception.
What is wire fraud in real estate? There have been many instances when hackers broke into the email accounts of realtors, agents, attorneys, escrow and title agents and underwriters and obtained information about transactions. After obtaining the data, the hackers contacted the buyers via email, posing as a real estate agent or escrow agent. They directed the new payment instructions to the buyers and provided a new destination to wire the funds. Title insurance does not cover such losses. New anti-wire fraud insurances are evolving but scams can be prevented via technology.
That is to say, wire fraud in the real estate industry is on the rise. Unfortunately, rates of such fraudulent activities didn’t slow down in 2020. However, real estate agents can take measures to prevent these scams.
Three ways Agents Can Prevent Wire Fraud in Real Estate
Use Spam Filters
It is essential to prevent phishing emails from reaching employees to help them not fall for the scam. You must use a strong email filter to remove irrelevant and extra emails. Products like Spam Bully and Mimecast can provide a solution to help agents filter and block phishing emails.
Remember that if a cybercriminal fails to get his emails in front of agents, it is difficult for him to steal confidential details or target someone with wire fraud. The next tip though is more effective and it prevents wire fraud even if your email is hacked or you got a phishing email.
Opt for Automated Transaction Management Process
In today’s digital era, real estate agents need to be quick to process and manage transactions. Relying on an inefficient transaction management process can increase the chances of wire fraud. Moreover, home sellers and buyers also prefer handling everything digitally.
Automated transaction platforms such as Propy, is one of the innovative ways to manage transactions, and fraud and compliance risks. Software automates the entire transaction process from offers until closing, including payment, which eliminates wire fraud. The wire transfer feature via transaction software helps agents protect their business from scams.
Use Real-Time Monitoring System
In case you are not using a transaction platform with secure payment, then using a perimeter security set up can help you keep your business’s network threat-free. It uses some efficient features that include web-content filtering, firewall malware protection, and geo-location blocking. The monitoring system allows you to monitor all web activities that enter and exit the network. Plus, perimeter security can quickly identify suspicious and unusual behavior patterns on your network that may be a signal you’re under attack. It gives you enough time to take the required actions to stop it.
All in all, taking important steps to prevent wire fraud is essential to keep your clients and their investment safe and secure. You must have efficient and hi-tech solutions to stop swindlers from gaining access and steal transaction-level information they need to plan a scam. Thus, the given strategies can help you prevent such activities.Contact us for more information or visit our website to explore more about automated transaction software and secure payment capability.