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

  • FBI Public Service Announcement (I-050417-PSA). 10-minute read. The PSA, dated May 2017, describes Business Email Compromise (BEC) and Email Account Compromise (EAC) schemes and how they lead to wire fraud.
  • 2017 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.

Establish and Maintain Operational Readiness

    • Federal Requirements. Gramm-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 Requirements. Forty-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.
    • 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).
    • 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:

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.

  • 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.

More Resources - Publications and Other Websites

ALTA Member-to-Member Free Resources

ALTA’s Information Security Committee

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)

Federal Trade Commission (FTC)

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Resources

InfoSec Advisory Bulletin Archive
ALTA’s Information Security Committee produces the quarterly InfoSec Advisory Bulletin to inform membership on various cyber-related topics to enhance awareness, prevention, detection and response/recovery methods for the industry.

Information Security News from ALTA

Federal Trade Commission

Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC)

Federal Bureau of Investigation

National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)

Webinars


Information Security Articles

Recent 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Baltimore Ransomware Attack Cripples City Systems Vital to Real Estate Eeals
Baltimore Sun  |  May 14, 2019  |  Ian Duncan
The ransomware attack on Baltimore computer systems has shut down systems essential for completing home sales, putting a halt to property deals at one of the real estate industry’s busiest times of year. The ability to review public records and record new documents have been disrupted by the hack, according to a bulletin from a title insurance company and real estate agents. ALTA has produced a short video and an infographic to help raise awareness about wire fraud, as well as a downloadable 10-step guide on what to do if you've been hit by 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.
Real Estate Wire Fraud Is Real—And It Almost Happened To Me
Forbes  |  May 9, 2019
A thief had tried to steal nearly $60,000—and my dream home—right from under me. But my case was far from unique. Thousands of unwitting homebuyers fall victim to these fraud schemes every year. And as the industry gets more and more digitized, the number of victims (and their losses) only grows. 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.
Ohio Catholic Parish Victim of Sophisticated Business Email Scheme, FBI Says
News 5 Cleveland  |  May 8, 2019  |  Kaylyn Hlavaty
Following a hack that left Saint Ambrose Catholic Parish in Brunswick out of nearly $2 million, the Cleveland Division of the FBI has weighed in on the hack Tuesday, revealing the parish was a victim of a business email compromise (BEC) scheme. ALTA has produced a short video and an infographic to help raise awareness about wire fraud, as well as a downloadable 10-step guide on what to do if you've been hit by 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.
Sounding the Alarm on Cybersecurity
The M Report  |  May 8, 2019
As phishing schemes and wire fraud increase, especially while closing on mortgage loans, it is time for the industry to step in and raise awareness about data security.
The FBI's RAT: Blocking Fraudulent Wire Transfers
Bank Info Security  |  May 7, 2019  |  Jeremy Kirk
The FBI's latest report into the state of internet crime confirms that fraud, e-hustles and social engineering attacks continue to proliferate. The scale is still astounding: The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, or IC3, accepts reports of fraud from around the world. In 2018, it received 900 complaints per day, totaling 351,936 complaints for the year. ALTA has produced a short video and an infographic to help raise awareness about wire fraud, as well as a downloadable 10-step guide on what to do if you've been hit by 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.