Wire fraud happens too often. Hackers attempt to trick people into giving over their information by sending fake emails with wiring instructions that resemble a message that would be sent by a loan officer, agent, or lawyer.There are best practices and steps to take in order to protect yourself and your clients from being victims of this crime.
- Discuss Wire Transfer Requirements from Day 1:
Making sure everyone is aware of the warning signs is a crucial first step in stopping hackers from succeeding at committing wire fraud. Informing your clients from the onset on what you will and will not request via email is important. We recommend creating a list of items that will never be requested online and provide that list to your clients on a physical handout or as a picture they can save on their phones. Brief your clients about what the process will be like and what type of emails/calls they will receive, and from who those requests will come from, so that they will know in advance if anything appears to be a red flag. I.e: checking phone numbers, email signatures, and confirming routing numbers.
- Phone Confirmation: A simple step that can save a lot of trouble. Before your clients send a wire, have a phone conversation to confirm receipt of instructions from the correct sender.
- Use Secure WiFi Networks: Advise clients to avoid connecting to free WiFi when doing the wire transfer. Being on a secure, protected network can sometimes make all the difference in blocking a hacker from gaining access to confidential data.
- Resetting Passwords: If you or your clients feel your email and/or banking passwords may be weak and are easily guessable, it is recommended to change them to much stronger combinations, especially throughout the mortgage process- which involves accessing and providing a lot of personal information.
- Time and Wire Amount: Look out for emails requesting more money than discussed, demanding that it be sent over immediately.