Title Fraud and Cyber Security
Buying a new home is one of the most exciting experiences in most homeowners’ lives, and the last thing you want to think about is cyber security. But when you consider how much personal and financial information you share in the process of the transaction, and the amount of money being transferred, cyber security needs to be top of mind … especially when choosing a title company at the Lake of the Ozarks.
For years, title companies have been responding to consumer demands for easier, faster, less cumbersome transactions. With technology, we can communicate faster, have fewer human errors and move towards paperless closings including the use of E-closings and online notarization. But these conveniences come with certain risks due to the sensitive information that is shared digitally. In fact, wire fraud and other email hacking schemes seem to be the biggest threats in real estate transactions today.
How does home title fraud work? One way is that a criminal fraudulently gains access to the victim’s personal information and uses their identity to transfer ownership of the house on paper through the court or by recording a “transaction.” Then they can attempt to rent or sell a home if it is unoccupied, or they can open a line of credit or a mortgage on the victim’s property and take the money before the victim even knows his or her identity has been stolen.
Money wiring fraud.
Another way is through wire fraud. This is where the criminal hacks emails (of the buyer, seller, real estate professionals, etc.) to access private information to create a phishing email requesting a wire transfer that appears to be coming from a legitimate party to the transaction or causing the money to appear to go to the proper party’s account while actually being transferred to the criminal’s account. Of course, we are talking about very large amounts of money, and once a transfer of funds takes place, it is next to impossible to get that money back.
Technology plus security.
As technology helps us to work more efficiently and across larger geographical areas, it also comes with inherent risks. It is great that we no longer all have to physically bring a check to the closing table to take care of transactions. But in 2020 alone, there was a more than 30% increase in real estate fraud related to wiring money transfers. That is why it is crucial that your title company at Lake of the Ozarks has the proper knowledge and IT management to have protections in place to block this type of theft.
At Arrowhead Title, we consider the expense of cyber-security IT a cost of doing business, and we take it very seriously. We embrace the use of technology for the sake of customer experience and convenience to the parties involved. At the same time, are aware of the risks that come along with it and we are constantly updating our education and IT security to protect our clients from the ever-rising threat.
When buying or selling a home at the Lake of the Ozarks, enlist Arrowhead Title so you can rest assured that your title agents know how to spot the warning signs of fraud or scams. You can be sure they are well trained and diligent about scrutinizing the emails and links they open in common correspondence. You can also know that they will be using the most advanced technology to stay one step ahead of the criminals. That is because, at Arrowhead Title, we know better than anyone how much accuracy … and security … really do matter!
750 Bagnell Dam Blvd Suite B