The results of a recent wire fraud survey from our friends at the American Land Title Association (ALTA) were truly a mixed bag. The good news first: the training and education efforts to promote awareness done by the Placer Title Company and others around the title industry are working to an extent.
Now, the bad news. Wire fraud losses within real estate continue to increase, and ALTA now believes that about one-third of all real estate transactions are targeted by fraudsters. In fact, more than 75 percent of our fellow title professionals reported that fraud attempts stayed the same or increased last year from 2019. FBI numbers for 2020 reported wire fraud losses in real estate at more than $213 million total.
So as the experts you need and the partners you can trust, how do we keep up this fight? By continuing to talk with all of you about how important this anti-fraud message is. This is how ALTA CEO Diane Tomb puts it.
“Criminals will continue to modify their tactics and prey on unsuspecting consumers,” she has said. “Working with our partners involved in the real estate transaction, along with government officials, we will continue to educate people about how they can protect their money when purchasing a home or refinancing a mortgage.”
ALTA helped establish the Coalition to Stop Real Estate Wire Fraud a couple of years ago. Its website is full of facts, figures and tips you can use. The association also provides plenty of resources geared toward our real estate partners and your customers.
- ALTA Wire Fraud Infographic: ALTA has produced this rack card explaining Wire Fraud that includes the steps a consumer should take to avoid becoming a victim of wire transfer fraud.
- Wire Fraud Tips Video: Share this one-minute video with homebuyers so they know how to protect their money.
- ALTA Wire Fraud Video: This two-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. (This clip is on the Placer Title video page, too!)
If you ever have any questions about how to talk to your customers about wire fraud, we are always willing to lend our expertise and resources. Reach out to us today! Together, we can continue to ward off these criminals and keep our transactions safe and secure for all involved.