We recently hosted a Wire Fraud Seminar with two incredible speakers: an FBI Agent and an IT Professional. Both Speakers gave us some terrific tips for defending ourselves from Cyber Thieves. The IT Professional in question is one Joseph Squicciarini of Quo Vadis, LLC. Joseph has been my IT Provider for going on 20 years. We taped his segment of the Seminar. You can watch it by clicking HERE. (NOTE: FBI Regulations prevent us from identifying the Agent or videotaping him).
Some of the practical tips these men shared with us include:
***You will find some more great advice by watching the aforementioned video clip of Joseph Squicciarini in the link above.***
By now, we should all have procedures in place for transmitting data related to wiring instructions, as well as procedures for initiating and verifying wires. Click HERE for an informative pamphlet from our friends at First American related to best practices related to wiring funds.
If you want to learn more about wire fraud and how to protect your Firm from Cyber Theft consider attending one of the seminars being presented by the NC Bar Association. Click HERE to learn more.
Unfortunately, Wire Fraud is not the only kind of fraud we have to worry about in our industry. In North Carolina, a fraudster was recently convicted of falsifying cancellations in the public record causing several Underwriters to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars. Click HERE for information about Red Flags to be aware of to prevent this kind of fraud.
Lastly, I want to focus your attention on one potential tool in your tool bag and that is the Cyber Insurance Policy. If you do not have a Cyber Policy, look into it. If you do have a Cyber Policy, make sure you understand what it covers. Most Cyber Policies will cover damage to your hardware created by Cyber Thieves. They may also cover the expenses to recover data or to provide any required legal notices in the event of a data breach. But do you know if your Cyber Policy covers this scenario?:
You send your wiring instructions encrypted to the Buyer’s Real Estate Agent. Unbeknowst to anyone, the Real Estate Agent has been compromised. She forwards your encrypted message to the buyers in an un-encrypted format. The Cyber Thieves intercept the message and substitute their own wiring instructions in an e-mail purporting to be from the Real Estate Agent to the Buyer. Buyer’s down payment of $40,000 is subsequently stolen.
A basic Cyber Policy will not cover this situation. You will need to obtain a Policy or Rider that covers “Social Engineering”. Having said that, even a Social Engineering Policy or Rider may not cover this situation because the person that was compromised in this instance was the Real Estate Agent…not you. My point is…talk to the provider of your Cyber Insurance Policy to make sure you understand what coverages you have and, more importantly, don’t have.
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The top three brackets win prizes ($100 gift card to 1st place, $50 to 2nd and $25 to 3rd)!
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The Barrister’s Title Team
Tomorrow is FINALLY the first day of spring and we’re ready to see those flowers start popping and the birds start chirping.
How about you?
There is an intentional misspelling error in the Wire Fraud – Practical Tips article above.
Be the first person to find the misspelled word in the article to win a prize!
E-mail Summer with your guess!