When Are We Going To Stop Saying “It’s Been A Crazy of Years”!!

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When are we going to stop saying “It’s been a crazy couple of years”!!!! 

What comes to mind? In the words of Roseanne Roseannadanna: It’s always something. If it’s not one thing, it’s another”.  

With Russia invading Ukraine, the topic of cyber-attacks and cybercrime is in the world spotlight again. 

What’s new?  

The mortgage industry has seen an incredible amount of wire fraud in the last eight years, despite lenders and title companies continually warning consumers about the risk to never follow “new” email instructions.  We hear story after story, like a spouse who didn’t talk to the MLO, who then sees an email with the “new” wiring instructions, and goes ahead with the transfer. It’s clear that it is important to continue to raise awareness about fraud and telling these kinds of stories can help consumers know what to look out for.  

And now, there’s a new twist. The US Secret Service highlighted that not only has the amount of wire fraud increased dramatically, but there is now a scheme where the fraudsters can access mortgage payoff statements, and then send a fake pay off with “new” account information. The wire fraud that we are accustomed to hearing about is typically for “funds to close” that can include significant down payments. But now with mortgage payoffs, the amount of each fraud incident can be much higher. In fact, the Secret Service recently stopped a $21M scheme.  

With increasing regulatory focus, the high reputation risk/cost, and cybercrimes again in the headlines with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it’s more important than ever to ensure your message is getting through to consumers, and your third-party title/settlement partners have their bases covered. As frontline originators or managers, the message the consumer is getting most clearly is yours. You know how much information consumers are bombarded with during the process and how much they really pay close attention to. Actively raising that awareness, backed up by your company having a solid game plan for combatting fraud including 3rd party vendor management, is essential for success. 

U.S Secret Service Thwarts Loan Scam Totaling More Than $21 Million | United States Secret Service 

What have you seen/heard with wire fraud and info security? Add your voice to the conversation here. 

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