Seller Imposter Fraud
“Follow the money.” We’ve learned over the years that following the money is the approach used by online fraudsters. Initially they attempted to hack into the systems of the lenders until the lenders began to tighten their internet security. Then the fraudsters moved to hacking the closing attorney’s and realtor’s computer systems. While those attempts still occur, law firms heeded the warning and strengthened their security measures enough that the fraudsters added a new target to their criminal operations. The fraudsters recognized the scheme might have greater success using the softer target of the buyers’ internet presence rather than the attorneys’ office. Fraudsters are now posing as the seller in the transaction.
Attached is an excellent article from the folks at Investors Title detailing how this latest scheme works along with suggestions you can take to minimize your firm’s and your client’s potential exposure to this latest version of online real estate fraud.
For questions, please contact Wayne Stephenson or Uta Zacharias at LML. For additional risk management resources, please visit the LML Risk Management webpage.