With increased fraud throughout our industry, it’s more important than ever to remain vigilant from contract to close. Thieves work around the clock testing systems, identifying weaknesses, and creating opportunities for their benefit, and to the detriment of others. Using email, social media, websites, and phone calls, their objective is to obtain private information, like a username and password. Once obtained, they use that private information, through social engineering and other criminal techniques to enrich themselves. The good news is you can protect yourself from becoming a victim through education and vigilance.

Behind all real estate transactions there’s a lot of money moving around. This is why title agencies and other companies that hold escrow funds have such stringent regulations. We’re responsible for a lot of other people’s money! We believe that all people should follow sound, best practices in order to protect themselves. Even more so if you are involved in real estate transactions, directly as a buyer or seller, and in any kind of ancillary role like as a real estate agent, mortgage lender or attorney.

Stay Vigilant From Contract to Close!


Get to know the people you are working with from the start of any real estate transaction. Add their contact email and phone to your contacts. There can be a dozen different people and companies involved in a single residential real estate transaction. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the parties to collectively manage the communication and information loop.


Phishing is a technique used by criminals as part of their social engineering criminal efforts. This includes email communications whereby criminals pose as reputable persons or companies to obtain sensitive information like usernames and passwords.


Check email addresses closely. Criminals use spoofing techniques, which includes imitating something familiar to someone in an effort to trick them. For example, can be easily spoofed to Look closely at who the email is from. Is there an alias being used? Have you communicated with this person before? Are you expecting communication from them? Are there breaks in the email chain or missing replies?


A reasonable amount of suspicion is unfortunately what’s necessary these days. Pay close attention to the body of emails, look for misspellings, poor grammar, awkward phrases, unusual tone, or missing elements like an email signature. Or an email signature that doesn’t match the sender of the email.

Wiring Money.

As a matter of policy, TitleTeam will not provide it’s wire detail to any third party who is not the sending party. This is how we protect those agents from unnecessary liability. Recipients of any wire detail should always call the title agency to confirm the details. Wire details DO NOT change in the middle of transactions, so if you receive an email trying to do that, notify the title agency immediately. Wires should be sent only to the domestic escrow account with the name of the title agency or attorney on the account.


Be sure to protect your computers with antivirus and anti-spam software that is regularly updated per the providers instructions. These companies are constantly updating their software, patching holes and blocking suspicious activity. Most software can be customized which would allow you to block certain domains, email senders etc.

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