Money Transfer Policy Guide Made Available for all Companies Holding Escrow

August 18, 2020

To help companies protect the incoming and outgoing flow of funds from their escrow and interest on lawyers trust accounts (IOLTA), wire fraud and title insurance experts published a money transfer protection guide.

CertifID’s Money Transfer Policy Guide provides a review of the types of funds that are processed through escrow and IOLTA accounts and suggested internal policies designed to keep all funds safe considering the ever-growing threat of wire and check fraud. The guide is authored by anti-fraud technology developers, attorneys and large title agency owners, Thomas Cronkright II and Lawrence Duthler, both co-founders of CertifID and owners of Sun Title. 

“The proper management of escrow and IOLTA accounts has become a major concern, and COVID has driven a surge in electronic funds transfers instead of checks for transactions,” Cronkright said. “Unfortunately, cyber fraudsters have picked up on this trend and have increased their efforts to divert funds to fraudulent accounts. The security and sophistication of internal processes and procedures around money transfer protection must be improved to combat this growing threat and keep everyone safe. We are excited to release this guide to the industry as a resource to spark conversations and encourage agents to adopt new and relevant practices.”

Duthler describes the document as a comprehensive roadmap for processing incoming and outgoing money transfers through the escrow and IOLTA account and a list of restrictions that should help prevent fraud and loss.

“Having a tight process around securing funds, educating consumers about the risk of wire fraud, and properly documenting the entire process is a must in today’s environment,” he said. “Setting internal and external expectations around how and when people will get their funds will ensure great closing experiences and lower everyone’s risk of loss.”

Statistics reinforce the need for tighter policies around funds transfers fraudsters have taken advantage of the COVID crises as related threats have increased over 3,000% in recent months, according to Cronkright. Business email compromise, ransomware and overall network and device hacking are all on the rise.

“We are seeing and hearing of fraud levels that we simply could not have imagined before COVID hitting,” Cronkright added. “The fraudsters continue to evolve in sophistication and timing, making it harder to detect.”

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