Mortgage fraud. It’s a topic that needs to be discussed – and discussed often. Placer Title Company knows a house is one of the biggest purchases people make in their lives (unless they win the lottery – fingers crossed). It should be a celebratory time, but bad actors are always trying to spoil the party.
While there are other types of real estate fraud to worry about too, wire fraud is garnering the most attention recently. There was this warning from the California Department of Real Estate in October, and this anti-fraud graphic published by the California Association of Realtors just a few months ago. In addition, the American Land Title Association, a group that Placer Title is very active in, is dedicating entire conferences to the topic this year. Fighting fraud is that important! In addition, ALTA has plenty of material you can pass along to your customers too.
After all, Placer Title couldn’t be the experts you need and the partners you can trust if we weren’t doing everything we could to keep our customers safe. We know you’ve heard about, trained for and stressed out about phishing emails. However, these scams are successful not because people aren’t prepared for them, but because all it takes is a single person to let their guard down once.
Next time you get a concerning email (or any email), run through this checklist of 5 questions to ask yourself to make sure you don’t accidently fall victim to a phishing attack. And remember to pass these tips to your customers too!
- Does the email include suspicious attachments?
- Does the email ask you for personal information or money?
- Does the email direct you to a secure website URL that begins with “https”? (Tip: Instead of clicking on link, type the web address yourself since scammers have the ability to spoof the https://.)
- Does the email have an unusual sense of urgency?
- Did you double check the email to make sure it was from the same team member or client that you’ve been corresponding with?
When in doubt, pick up the phone and call the sender to verify the legitimacy of the email you just received. (And tell your customers they can always call you too!) It may be old school, but it works. If there is anything Placer Title Company can do to help you feel better protected, let us know!