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

Cryptocurrency Thefts, Scams, and Fraud Could Hit $4.3 Billion in 2019
Venture Beat  |  August 12, 2019  |  Dean Takahashi
Cryptocurrency thefts, scams, and fraud could hit $4.3 billion in 2019, according to a report by cryptocurrency intelligence firm CipherTrace, which previously reported Q1 fraud at about $1.2 billion. CipherTrace has now released its Q2 2019 Cryptocurrency Anti-Money Laundering Report, the latest comprehensive overview of major cryptocurrency thefts, scams, and fraud around the world.
Cybersecurity: Remain Vigilant
July 25, 2019
You may not be interested in cybersecurity, but cybercriminals and government regulators are interested in you and what you do to protect your clients’ information.
Report: Attempted Losses Due to Business Email Compromise Schemes Spike to $301M per Month
July 16, 2019
According to FinCEN, real estate was the third highest targeted sector for BEC in 2018, accounting for 16 percent of all reported incidents. While real estate firms represented 9 percent of all targeted firms in 2017, they accounted for over 20 percent of fraudulent transaction amounts. Real estate firms have the highest average fraudulent transaction amount of $179,001.
Detectives Recover $471,000 for Scammed Texas Homebuyers
CBS Austin  |  July 10, 2019  |  Melanie Barden
After filing a report with the FBI, the homebuyers contacted the Williamson County Sheriff's Office. Within days, the detectives were able to secure the money at a bank in Florida. 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.
ALTA Spearheads Launch of Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud
July 9, 2019
To help raise awareness and educate homebuyers, and real estate and mortgage professionals about the risk and urgency of the problem, ALTA on June 28 launched the national Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud. Initial coalition partners include the Community Mortgage Lenders of America, the Real Estate Services Providers Council and the American Escrow Association. Participating on a press call to announce the coalition were ALTA President Cynthia Durham Blair NTP, U.S Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala), real estate professional Rich Hopen and Tom Linehan, executive vice president at BankUnited. Read on to learn more about the coalition and how to get involved.