ALTA Commends U.S. Senators on Wire Fraud Letter to Federal Reserve

August 1, 2019

ALTA applauded the bipartisan group of 33 senators—led by U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.)—who questioned Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on what efforts the Federal Reserve has underway to limit fraud and verify payee matching on wire payments.

There is an increasing problem of wire fraud through business email compromise and email account compromise in the United States. This serious issue continues to put Americans—especially homebuyers—at risk of sending large payments to the wrong accounts with no recourse for getting that money back. 

In their letter, 33 senators seek more information about the work the Federal Reserve is doing to protect the wire system from fraud.

“We write to you concerning the increasing problem of wire fraud through business email compromise (BEC) and email account compromise (EAC) in the U.S.,” the senators wrote. “This method of fraud poses great risks to our constituents, specifically homebuyers. Confidence in our payment system’s ability to safely transfer large sums of money is an incredibly important part of the homebuying process. We are concerned that the Federal Reserve’s policies on wire fraud lack the urgency of the problem . . . Given the rapidly increasing seriousness of the issue, we are interested in what efforts the Federal Reserve has underway to limit fraud and verify payee matching on wire payments.”

“We applaud Senators Moran and Van Hollen, along with the other senators, for their letter to Chairman Powell asking for information about the work the Federal Reserve is doing to protect consumers and the wire system from fraud,” said ALTA CEO Diane Tomb. “Thieves use sophisticated fraud schemes to steal money when people are buying or selling homes, and we must maintain confidence in our electronic payment system, which is the fastest and safest way to transfer money.”

ALTA has a history of shining a light on wire fraud. Last month, ALTA founded the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud to raise awareness and educate homebuyers, real estate and mortgage professionals as well as policymakers about the extent and urgency of the wire fraud epidemic; provide concrete steps people can take to prevent wire fraud; and identify and empower victims to tell their stories and advocate for solutions.   


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

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