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FRAUD WATCH: What is the business email compromise?

Wire fraud attempts are very common in the title industry. A typical wire fraud scheme, encountered by some of our agents, is known as a business email compromise (“BEC”). In this scheme, the fraudster has hacked into a party’s email account.

The fraudster then lies in wait, they read the outgoing and incoming emails waiting for a sales transaction to occur. As you are communicating electronically with your customers, the fraudster will intercept the communications regarding sending or receiving funds. The fraudsters will usually mimic one party’s email address and provide their own account information and wire instructions. The mimicked email will be very close to the email address provided by the parties to the transaction. Typically, the fraudsters’ email address will differ by one letter or number. The agent then wires the funds into the account they believe to be provided by an actual party to the transaction. In a very short period of the time, the fraudster will empty and close their bank account and disappear with the funds. The lesson to take away from this claim scenario is to call and confirm, through a verified telephone number for that party, the validity of the new payoff information you have received. ]]>

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