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

Choosing and Protecting Passwords
November 16, 2021

You probably use personal identification numbers, passwords or passphrases every day: from getting money from the ATM or using your debit card in a store, to logging in to your email or your company’s VPN. Tracking all the number, letter and special character combinations may be frustrating, but these protections are important because hackers represent a real threat to your information.

Arizona Federal Court Finds False Pretenses Exclusion Bars Coverage for Fraudulent Wire Transfer Under Professional Liability Policy
JD Supra  |  September 30, 2021

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona weighed in on the issue whether a professional liability policy provided insurance for a fraudulent wire transfer. This decision is not the first to tackle this issue, and like the other opinions issued across the country, this case demonstrates that the answer to this somewhat thorny question depends heavily on the specific policy wording at issue.

DDoS Attacks Becoming More Prolific and More Powerful, Warn Cybersecurity Researchers
ZD Net  |  September 24, 2021

According to a report by cybersecurity researchers at Netscout, there were 5.4 million recorded DDoS attacks during the first half of 2021—a figure that represents an 11% rise compared with the same period last year. 

The Scam That Keeps On Taking
National Mortgage Professional,  |  September 9, 2021

One ruse that has been particularly persistent is the wire transfer dodge in which cyber-criminals impersonate title firms in trying to steal mortgage payoffs. So much so that the Secret Service recently issued an advisory warning on a “drastic increase” in the scam. ALTA offers a number of resources to help protect against wire fraud and raise awareness about the threat, including a wire preparation checklist, videos, infographic and a rapid response plan for wire fraud incidents.

When it Comes to Wire Fraud, Are We Asking Enough Questions?
September 8, 2021

Authentication and training are important, but why aren’t we thinking about attacking the threat from other angles as well? Read on as CEO Jason Doshi discusses solutions to wire transfer fraud.