Newport Beach, CA – December 28, 2017: As the holidays continue and lenders push forward to close loans ahead of the year end FundingShield has been called upon to assist in numerous situations of wire diversion and closing fraud hitting lenders across the country.
As highlighted in our recent newsletters and alerts our sources and systems have noticed an increase in wire swapping and diversion attempts during the run up to and through the holiday season in 2017. The many system breaches at Uber, Yahoo, Equifax and the most recent from Alteryx (see Fundingshield commentary in the press National Mortgage News) recently highlight the amount of personal data that is exposed which is used to create and misuse personas.
Most of the attacks were phishing, social engineering based hacks and some demonstrated elements of email system breaches. In many cases the phone call back number listed for the account on wire instructions directed lender operations staff to a phone line controlled by the fraudsters.
Most of the situations the firm has seen involve the altering of wire instructions being emailed in-bound to the lender from an account appearing similar to that of the closing agent or the actual email of the closing agent itself. In a few cases the documentation was altered at the point in which the lender received the application very early on in the loan process highlighting a new level of sophistication among the criminals seeking to steal closing funds.
“In these cases many folks had already released and wired funds and were seeking to work with law-enforcement authorities to recover monies. In these cases the ‘48 hour rule’ was paramount in the success of partial or full recovery of funds.”
Fundingshield reminds lenders that the best defense is a fraud prevention strategy such as Fundingshield’s wire account verification system or our guardian loan closing certification service which confirms bank account ownership and closing party authority and documentation at the loan level.
“Incoming calls from numerous new and existing mortgage lender clients who have been experiencing these attacks have benefited from Fundingshield’s ability to quickly confirm bank account ownership, account history and closing conventions drawing upon Fundingshield’s in house resources with expertise in legal, title, banking and technology matters.”
If you do find yourself victim of a wire fraud attack whether successful or not it is key to file a report with law enforcement and also seek to lock down and enhance your policies and procedures incorporating third party verification of the closing parties, documents and bank accounts. Further make sure to take action within the first 48 hours of a wire fraud if funds have been released and if not call Fundingshield to assist with finding the correct and authorized bank account for closing.
Fundingshield is a financial technology risk and fraud prevention company that protects the Mortgage, Real Estate, Title, Settlement and Legal Services industries from wire fraud and cyber based theft. Fundingshield’s cost & time effective solutions deliver the highest level of control and risk mitigation around cyber based threats of wire fraud / diversion. Fundingshield has proven products with hundreds of billions of dollars of transaction history from its existing clients such as major banks, asset managers and independent mortgage banks of all sizes in the residential/and commercial mortgage business.
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