Information Security and Wire Transfer Fraud are critical topics for the land title insurance and settlement industry. Wire Transfer Fraud is a threat to every title operation regardless of size, location or years in business. ALTA’s priority is helping you protect your systems, plan for a rapid response in case of an incident, and prepare your employees, clients and customers to be aware and vigilant.

The ALTA Board has identified information security and wire transfer fraud as a Strategic Priority and staff are working to educate members on security threats to their businesses in both cyber and physical environments, collaborate with coalition partners to raise consumer awareness about information security and wire transfer fraud, and promote best practices for protecting personal funds and information and seek policy change that will protect consumers.

Do You . . .

  • work in the land title insurance industry?
  • use a computer, tablet or smartphone?
  • talk and email with vendors, clients, customers and consumers?

ALTA Helps You

Tools You Can Use

Get The Facts

  • 2019 Internet Crime Report. Published by the FBI's Internet Crimes Complaint Center (IC3). Take 30 minutes to read this report and discover the trends in cyber crime, which impact more than 200,000 victims every year and result in losses topping $1 billion. The report shows there were 11,677 victims of real estate wire fraud in 2019 with $221 million in losses.

Establish and Maintain Operational Readiness

  • ALTA Outgoing Wire Preparation Checklist: Use this checklist as a best practice for verifying outgoing wire information.
  • ALTA Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents: Use this tool to customize your action plan when a wire fraud attempt occurs.
  • How To Complete An IC3 Report Video
  • ALTA Best Practices. The third pillar of ALTA’s “Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices” provides procedures that should be taken to protect non-public personal information (NPI).
  • Federal RequirementsGramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLB): This regulation requires financial institutions—companies that offer consumers financial products or services like loans, financial or investment advice, or insurance—to explain their information-sharing practices to their customers and to safeguard sensitive data. These companies include title and settlement companies, as well as law firms.
  • State RequirementsForty-seven states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have enacted legislation requiring private, governmental or educational entities to notify individuals of security breaches of information involving personally identifiable information.

Promote Employee Awareness and Preparation

Title and settlement professionals are on the front line in the battle against wire transfer fraud. Use these tools to help prepare your employees:

Be a Leader for Clients & Consumers

ALTA has developed tools to help you educate consumers about the dangers of wire fraud.

  • Wire Fraud Tips Video: Share this 1-minute video with homebuyers so they know how to protect their money.
  • ALTA Wire Fraud Video: This 2-minute video provides four tips on how consumers can protect their money and offers advice on what to do if they have been targeted by a scam. Link to this video from your website, include in your email or share on social media.
  • ALTA Wire Fraud Infographic: ALTA has produced this Rack Card explaining Wire Fraud. ALTA Members can brand the infographic with their own information at the ALTAprints website.
  • ALTA Wire Fraud PowerPoint for Consumer Education: (Member-only content) Use this presentation to educate consumers about the dangers of phishing emails and wire transfer fraud. The presentation provides information on what to do if you’ve fallen victim to a scam and also highlights 10 tips to prevent wire fraud.

Get Information to Help Your Business and Your Customers

Information Security Articles

Recent 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

‘None of it was Real’: Real Estate Scam Nearly Snares Woman
KOIN 6  |  July 16, 2021

The current real estate market has many people making large down payments to get their new home. But a growing real estate scam targeting people in the region nearly snared Allison Boekenoogen. Scammers pose as the title company to try to make you send that down payment into the wrong account, losing both your future home but a fortune in cash.

Wire Transfer Scheme Targets Mortgage Payoffs, Secret Service Warns
May 25, 2021

The U.S. Secret Service issued an advisory warning of a drastic increase in wire transfer fraud related to mortgage payoffs.

Register for Today's Cyber Webinar to Hear from FBI, Secret Service
May 25, 2021

Tuesday, June 15, 2021 | 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET | Register Today

Cybercrime continues to grow, especially during the pandemic and the new age of remote work. Join us for this moderated discussion as government officials discuss the latest cyber threats, what agencies are doing to prevent cybercrimes and what the industry can do to help report criminal activity. Register for this RamQuest-sponsored ALTA Insights webinar to hear from the FBI and Secret Service and learn how you can help fend off cyberattacks and protect your customers and business. This presentation will not be recorded for later viewing.

Survey: Title Professionals Targeted for Wire Fraud in a Third of all Transactions
April 20, 2021

Title insurance professionals reported cyber criminals attempted to trick employees to wire funds to a fraudulent account in a third of all real estate and mortgage transactions, according to ALTA’s 2021 Wire Fraud and Cyber Crime Survey. However, training and education seem to be working as funds were only wired to a fraudulent account in a little over 8% of these attempts.

$1.8 Billion Lost Due to Business Email Compromise in 2020
March 18, 2021

According to the FBI’s 2020 Internet Crime Report, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 791,790, complaints with reported losses exceeding $4.2 billion last year. Business email compromise (BEC) schemes continued to be the costliest, with 19,369 complaints resulting in losses of $1.8 billion. In regard to real estate, there were 13,638 fraud victims with $213,196,082 in reported losses.