By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
Take a look around your office. What would a thief take if he broke in? We have learned in previous editions, they would likely take a document safe not bolted to the floor. You would think they would most likely take computers too, right? Wrong! Read the article entitled "PAPERLESS?" to find out what is most valuable to a thief these days.
We learned in the May 2012 edition that settlement agents should not send copies of earnest money checks disclosing buyer's bank account numbers to an unauthorized person (i.e. listing agent, seller, seller's attorney, etc.). Read the story "EXPOSED" to discover why the buyer's bank account information should be protected as highly as all other non–public, personal information. The MORAL OF THE STORY contains details on how to secure banking information included on checks received into escrow.
The industry is under attack by cyber–fraud, where funds are diverted out of an escrow trust account by hackers that are able to mime keystrokes from an employee's workstation and access the account online. The latest stories regarding this crime all involve independent escrow companies. Read "DIVERTED funds" to find out what happened to an independent escrow company who had this crime perpetrated against them.
Be sure to read the latest "SAFETY CORNER" tip surrounding the use of Company–issued laptops and tablets.