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.

Get Information to Help Your Business and Your Customers


Information Security Articles

Recent 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014

Why No One Needs a Free Donut from Dunkin: Real Estate & Wire Fraud in the Wake of COVID-19
PropertyShark  |  October 29, 2020

Bill Svoboda, co-founder of title software solutions provider CloseSimple, takes a deep dive into wire fraud, how the pandemic is giving scammers more opportunities and the fight the title industry is waging against it. ALTA CEO Diane Tomb said "Our industry’s response to a pandemic has brought out the best and allowed us to shine during the closing process. We’re not going to let scammers take that away from our clients.”

Stewart Partners With CertifID
October 29, 2020

The partnership enables Stewart's direct operations and independent agencies in its Trusted Provider network the ability to securely connect and send wire instructions to customers through CertifID.

How Remote Working is Making Cyberattacks Easier to Pull Off
ZD Net  |  October 28, 2020

The unique conditions of 2020 mean businesses are more reliant on being digitally connected than ever before. Cyber criminals know this, which is why ransomware attacks have become even more pervasive – and effective during the course of this year. Part of the reason for the upswing in successful ransomware attacks is the huge growth of remote working as a result of the pandemic. 

Beware of Cybersecurity Risks When Teleworking from Hotels
October 20, 2020

Teleworking from a hotel could increase the potential of criminals stealing sensitive information. Hotels, predominantly in major U.S. cities, have begun to advertise daytime room reservations for guests seeking a quiet, distraction-free work environment. While this option may be appealing, the FBI warns that accessing sensitive information from hotel Wi-Fi poses an increased security risk over home networks. Read on for tips to minimize some of the risks associated with using hotel Wi-Fi.

Real Estate Wire Fraud is a Growing Cybercrime, but There are Ways to Prevent It
International Business Times  |  October 20, 2020

Real estate wire fraud is one of the fastest growing cybercrimes in the U.S., according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). NAR said about 11,300 people were victimized by wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2018 -- a 17% jump from 2017 -- with attendant losses of more than $150 million. According to the FBI, consumers have been robbed of more than $220 million in wire fraud schemes thus far in 2020, a 13% increase from last year.

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