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

  • NEW ITEM: 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: The standard ALTA Rapid Response Plan for Wire Fraud Incidents has been developed by the ALTA Information Security Committee. Download and customize:
  • 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.


Information Security Articles

Recent 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Getting our Security Terminology Right
March 31, 2020
Data privacy is quite different than information security and is best handled by a different department in the company. The distinction is subtle and often missed even by industry veterans.
Cybercrime Will Cost the World US$6 Trillion by the End of the Year: Study
CISO Mag  |  March 23, 2020
The global pandemic of COVID-19 will continue to have a massive impact on cyberspace. In fact, the damages caused by cybercrime is poised to double amid the Coronavirus outbreak. According to the Official Cybercrime Report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybercrime will cost the world US$6 trillion annually by 2021, up from US$3 trillion in 2015. The trend also represents one of the biggest transfers of economic wealth in history.
Cybercriminals Seek Profit in Coronavirus
New Hampshire Union Leader  |  March 16, 2020
An email seemingly from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns of new coronavirus infections and urges readers to click on a link to see a list of infections in their community. But the email actually comes from cybercriminals looking to use the crisis to their advantage.
 Young Couple Loses $775K in Home Buying Cyber Scam
NBC San Diego  |  February 26, 2020
Kevin and Nicole Noar have a tough time sleeping at night after losing their life savings while trying to buy their dream home in Carlsbad. It was Feb.14 when the couple received what they know now was a fake email from their fake real estate agent. They didn't pay attention to the sender's e-mail address and didn't notice it said ".corn" instead of ".com." ALTA has produced a short video and an infographic to help raise awareness about wire fraud. Click here to access the resources. In addition, the ALTA Registry can serve as an effective countermeasure to wire fraud. Make sure your company is confirmed. Visit the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud and learn how to prevent this type of cybercrime.
Cloudphish Unveils New Phishing Defense Solution
January 30, 2020
Cloudphish uses the Ethereum blockchain ledger to create an externalized verification framework for emails trusted users send and receive between one another.