Wire Transfer Fraud by the Numbers

Wire transfer fraud costs home buyers and businesses billions of dollars every year. Here’s how you can protect your business.

Wire Transfer Fraud by the Numbers

Wire transfer fraud costs home buyers and businesses billions of dollars every year. Here’s how you can protect your business.

Written by:

Tyler Adams

Read time:

3 minutes

Category:

Wire Fraud

Imagine watching a client find the home of their dreams, filling out all of the paperwork, coordinating with the closing agent and bank, and feeling a sense of pride when they complete the final wire transfer, knowing that they will soon pick up the keys to their new home.

Now, imagine the gut-wrenching feeling of finding out they were one of the targets of a growing form of crime: real estate wire fraud. Whether you are the buyer or the title company involved in this process, you never want to experience such an event.

Although you may think that cases like these are few and far between, they are becoming more common. In fact, according to the FBI, there was a 13 percent year-over-year increase in real-estate-related wire transfer fraud in 2020, totaling more than $220 million in losses.

So just how much does wire transaction fraud impact consumers and our economy, and what can we do to fight back?

Wire transfer fraud by the numbers.

Although wire fraud has many direct and indirect impacts on consumers, title companies, banks, and others involved in the process, it is still difficult to capture the full extent of its toll. Here are some of the most eye-catching facts we have found:

Wire fraud is very difficult to recover from.

Despite all of the controls and protections banks, escrow companies, and consumers think they have in place, without the right tools, most are left flat-footed in the wake of a successful wire transfer fraud attack. 

In fact, the 2021 ALTA Wire Fraud Survey—which surveyed nearly 550 title agents nationwide—found that a full recovery of funds lost to wire fraud was possible in only 29 percent of cases.

Wire fraud attempts are more common than you think.

Think you could never be the target of wire fraud? Well, think again.

One-third of all wire transfers initiated in 2020 were targeted with a potential wire fraud scam. Although most attempts were blocked or ignored, it is simply a game of numbers before the fraudsters find an unsuspecting victim. That is, until organizations leverage end-to-end encryption of their data collection process.

Wire fraud attempts show no sign of slowing.

Wire fraud has the potential for big pay-offs. As such, in 2020, 76 percent of title agents noted that the frequency of wire fraud attempts either stayed the same from the previous year or increased.

The result? Losses from all forms of fraud reached $3.3 billion in 2020, up from 1.8 billion in 2019. How can you protect your real estate wire transactions?

How can you prevent your business, customer, or transaction from becoming another statistic?

The answer is simple: prevent these sensitive financial details from being intercepted in the first place.

This can be accomplished by utilizing a solution that securely collects and confirms bank details for the disbursement of funds after a real estate transaction. This software can integrate into existing real estate software and offers customizable and guaranteed protection.

For example, you will no longer have to worry about the interception of emails regarding the collection and confirmation of bank account information via business email compromise. CertifID’s solution instead captures this data in a secure, end-to-end session, requiring identity verification on both sides before doing so.

In other words, CertifID not only simplifies the wire transfer experience, but also keeps your funds safe.

Take the next step.

The headlines and statistics around fraud can be overwhelming. That’s why you need a platform like CertifID to help you fight back.

Are you interested in learning more about how you can prevent your wire transactions from becoming another statistic?

Then click here for a personalized consultation. While you are at it, make sure to download our free resource, The Wire Fraud Prevention Guide!

Tyler Adams

Co-founder & COO

Tyler brings a decade of leadership experience developing and launching technology businesses. Before co-founding CertifID, Tyler led new product development at BCG Digital Ventures for Mercedes-Benz, First American Financial, Boston Scientific, and Aflac.