CertifID Partners with Federal Law Enforcement to Issue a Security Advisory on Vacant Property Fraud
CertifID Inc., a leader in wire fraud protection, has collaborated with federal law enforcement to issue an advisory on the latest wire fraud threat to real estate businesses and consumers.
In recent months, an alarming increase in incidents have been reported to the company involving the listing and sale of vacant land and properties that are free of mortgage liens. These scams involve bad actors posing as owners of these vacant lots or properties.
This recent trend is just the latest in an ever-evolving landscape of scams focused on the real estate industry. Leading tactics that cyber criminals have leveraged to perpetrate these frauds include Business Email Compromise (BEC). The FBI 2022 Congressional Report on BEC and Real Estate Wire Fraud cites BEC as the leading source of victim loss reported to their Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), totaling $2.4B in 2021.
According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), home sales continued to fall for the 10th month consecutively in November. As a result, cybercrime rings have turned to new tactics to make up for the lower housing market transaction volume that they can target. Here's how these new vacant property scams work:
"This recent trend involving seller impersonation is particularly concerning, as the real property owner is typically not aware nor in a position to prevent the fraud, until it is too late," said Thomas W. Cronkright II, Executive Chairman of CertifID. "Unfortunately, it's just the latest evolution of wire fraud that affects title companies, law firms, lenders, realtors, and home buyers and sellers. Our company has received hundreds of cases and helped recover over $52M for victims in the last two years alone, by partnering with the US Secret Service."
CertifID advises real estate professionals to protect themselves and their clients from this latest scam by doing the following:
CertifID Fraud Recovery Services are available to any consumer or business who needs assistance at https://reportafraud.org/. The team provides a single point of contact for customers, to help them navigate across multiple parties including banks and law enforcement who need to work together during a fraud recovery process.
For a copy of the U.S. Secret Service issued advisory, visit this site.
CertifID is a leader in wire fraud protection. The company safeguards billions of dollars every month from fraud with advanced software, insurance, and proven recovery services. Trusted by title companies, law firms, lenders, realtors, and home buyers and sellers - CertifID provides further peace of mind with up to $1M in direct coverage on every wire it protects. Learn more at: www.certifid.com.
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