Clareity® wrote “Reducing the Risk of Real Estate Wire Fraud” in 2016 and has since updated it several times to account for the evolution of the threat. The paper is extensive and is a must-read for professionals who want to more fully understand the problem and how to mitigate the risks. The following checklist may help professionals understand if they are taking reasonable steps to reduce the risk or real estate wire fraud and whether they might want to read the larger paper.
All professionals should:
- Learn to evaluate communications (email, texts, faxes, social media, etc.) for wire fraud risk
- Use unique and complex passwords for different work accounts (e.g. email, document and transaction management, social media, MLS, etc.)
- Use strong authentication for work accounts (if possible)
- Only use encrypted wireless for work matters
- Use antivirus software on computers and mobile devices
- Provide a document to clients describing the wire fraud risk in detail
- Use a signature for emails and other messages that describe the wire fraud risk
- Discuss wire fraud risk with clients
- Create policy and procedures including:
- instructions for associated individuals addressing the items listed above
- an email security policy
- a wireless use security policy
- a password policy
- a bring your own device (“BYOD”) policy
- a workstation and mobile device secure configuration policy
- a security audit policy
- an internal process for establishing and changing wiring instructions, including multiple parties and both verbal and written components
- Implement periodic training on policy and procedures
- Enforce policy and procedures
- Work with an attorney to understand relevant information security laws and incident response requirements in your state(s); maintain information for incident reporting contacts.
If your organization is interested in having Clareity assess information security and/or wire-fraud related practices, or provide a webinar or in-person presentation on these subjects, please contact Matt Cohen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
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