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Real Estate & Title Companies

Wire fraud is ubiquitous in the real estate industry. Cyber criminals exploit the complex and hurried nature of real estate and the number of vulnerable parties involved in the real estate closing process - attorneys, lenders, agents, title companies, sellers and buyers - to steal large sums of money in targeted phishing scams. These dangerous scams are initiated with the compromise of either a realtor or a title company's email account by malware sent via email. The Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud explains: “These criminals rely on trust. They know you trust your real estate agent, your lawyer or the bank, and they exploit that trust to steal from you.” In addition to doing significant financial damage, wire fraud can destroy trust with clients and irreparably damage a title company’s reputation.

If you work in this industry, you know just how real this threat is, despite having existing protection in place. The Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud has recently spoken out on the issue, reporting that 47% of major financial institutions have seen an increase in real estate wire transfer fraud over the past 12 months, and only 15% of all wire fraud incidents are reported. With an average loss of $179,000, real estate fraud often derails transactions, leaving victims homeless.

Lisa Sammataro, a realtor at Keller Williams Village Square Realty, elaborates on the danger of wire fraud in the real estate industry, and the critical need for effective email protection in this sector: “I've heard of more than one horror story of email hackers sending bogus wiring instructions that resulted in large sums of money being sent to a criminal's offshore bank account,” recalls Sammataro. “It is imperative that everyone involved in real estate transactions have sophisticated email security in place to prevent wire fraud. The problem is serious and real!”

Companies in the real estate sector need to invest in a cloud email security solution that provides proactive, defense-in-depth email protection, preventing fraudulent emails from reaching the inbox and thus mitigating their risk of dangerous and costly wire transfer scams.

We’ve also compiled a list of general technology best practices that organizations can follow to protect their business in any industry.

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