800 Westchester Avenue
Suite S-514
Rye Brook, New York 10573
Phone: 914-644-6100
Fax: 914-644-6159

Newsletter

 

 

 

 


Title Tuesday #8
 

 

Title Insurance: Cyber-security  

"Title Tuesday" continues with a look at how we can protect our clients from the cyber criminals preying on real estate transactions.   

 

 

Thoroughbred Title takes the security of our clients, and yours, very seriously.  We have all completed extensive cyber security training.  We continue to receive ongoing testing keeping our skills sharp.

Many of you may have seen the Cybersecurity Presentation given by Eric Swarthout, President of Thoroughbred Title, at an office meeting.  We know that the Real Estate and Title Insurance Industry is a target of cyber criminals and we want to ensure that you are armed with the knowledge to protect you and your clients.    

 

Wire Fraud is a National Epidemic.
Averaging $600 Million a year and rising.

 

WHY REAL ESTATE?
Closing funds are an especially lucrative target for thieves - a closing has large amounts of money being transferred between the parties 
7 Separate HomeServices Companies have had wire fraud incidents​​

 

 

 

Phishing is intentionally deceiving someone by posing as a legitimate company – it is an illegal means by which to acquire the information consumers use to identify themselves online. ​​

Typically utilizes email by pretending to be a company or service requesting you to do something – usually URGENTLY or an URGENT MATTER​.

The cyber criminals are hoping that you click on the link and fill out the requested information. ​They are gaining information to use in the future to steal your identity or steal access to your accounts.

 

 

 

HOW TO SPOT A PHISHING EMAIL:

 

Any emails that target your emotions should be carefully evaluated and treated as suspicious.

 

One main tactic that cyber criminals use in phishing attempts is to play on emotions:​

GREED – Lures you in with promises of “Free stuff” and often a financial reward  

URGENCY – Phishing emails will often have a sense of urgency or call for immediate action to be taken to either wind something or avoid losing something 

CURIOSITY – Phishers take advantage of peoples natural curiosity and try to tempt people – such as Celebrity secrets or secret information

FEAR – Scaring recipients is a common phishing tactic – anything that threatens negative consequences should be questioned ​

Phishing emails can use one emotional tactic or combine them – such as Urgency and Fear – if you do not do something by midnight your account will be deactivated. ​

 

 

Before opening an email look closely at some items that can indicate the email is a phishing attempt ​

​EMAILS SIGNATURE – A signature block that is very generic or different than the company normally uses can be in indication it is not legit.  Also look for typos in the email block or incorrect grammar ​

​SENDER ADDRESS – the address will show the senders name but if you hover over the name or look more closely you can see that actual address of the sender – confirm this is a legitimate email address that matches the email​

​EMAIL TONE – Often the phishing emails are coming from the email address of someone you know or a business you usually work with so you should already be familiar with the way they speak and they way that they address you – if the email is claiming to be from someone you know but it doesn’t sound like them it may be a phishing attempt

 

 

 

THE AGENTS ROLE: 


PROTECT your clients information​

MUST have clients execute Anti-Fraud Disclosure form ​

NEVER ask your client for personal information via email​

NEVER get involved in forwarding emails relating to wires or bank transfers​

EDUCATE your clients​

REMIND your clients of cyber security precautions when transactions are nearing closing​

QUESTION and REPORT anything suspicious​

BE SUSPICIOUS of last-minute changes to closing instruction
 

If you do communicate from a different email address (NOT RECOMMENDED) enable MFA/2FA (Multi Factor Authentication/Two Factor Authentication) for those accounts​

Don’t open attachments or click on links from unfamiliar sources​

When in doubt, pick up the phone ​