CertifID Extends Offering to Protect All Wire Transfers from Buyers

April 25, 2019

CertifID, a real-time identity verification platform for real estate, announced its is now protecting all wire transfers that are initiated by a buyer in connection with a real estate closing for up to $1 million in loss for a single fee of $4.95. The expanded coverage includes wire transfers relating to earnest money deposit as well as transfers required to fully consummate the transaction (cash to close funds). 

Thomas Cronkright, CEO and co-founder of CertifID, said wire fraud scams continue to be a target from cyber criminals around the globe and buyers are the main targets. 

“Real estate transactions are ripe for business email compromise scams due to the number of parties involved in a transaction, high per-wire transfer amounts and the ability to easily profile active transactions online,” Cronkright added. “The greatest threat is to a buyer who is required to wire funds for the closing of a home. Armed with transaction level details that they have obtained after obtaining access to someone’s email, the cyber perpetrators deploy social engineering strategies that convince a buyer to wire their life savings away to a fraudster who is posing as the title or settlement company.  This is simply unacceptable, and it is our mission to prevent it.” 

Industry leaders agree that more needs to be done to protect buyers from wire fraud scams. 

“Buyers often send multiple wires in connection with a real estate closing,” said Camille Wright Brannon, CEO of Campbell & Brannon, an Atlanta-based law firm. “Earnest money deposits are sent in connection with the buy/sell agreement and once it comes time to close on the sale, buyers often wire funds from multiple accounts to meet their cash to close obligations. The challenge we face as industry professionals is that we don’t know when or from how many accounts a buyer may wire funds—this is activity they uniquely control, and it exposes them to being tricked into sending funds to fraudulent accounts.”

CertifID’s expanded offering will allow title and settlement providers to securely send wiring instructions to a buyer early in the transaction cycle and allow the buyer to rely on those instructions for all wire transfers that are required to close. 

“This is a significant step to protect buyers and creates a trusted communication mode early in the process so that buyers know any subsequent communication with different wiring instructions are fraudulent.” Brannon said. 

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or communications@alta.org.

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