By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator
As reported in the April, July and October 2018 issues, the latest twist to diverted wire transfers is fraudsters are now targeting loan payoff proceeds. Fraudsters intercept payoff statements sent via email and e–fax, and then alter them before sending them on to the settlement agent. Read "HOW to avoid becoming a victim" to learn how to protect the Company from this scam.
Does the name Nate Hidalgo ring a bell? It should, he is a heroic employee who, along with Beau Johnson, helped shutdown a timeshare scam being perpetrated on a timeshare owner. Their story was published in the December 2016 issue, and as a result of their actions Nate and Beau split a $1,500 reward. At that time, Nate was working as a property information specialist for Chicago Title and Fidelity National Title Company's offices in Vancouver, Washington. Well, Nate is at it again. This time his superpowers prevented a diverted wire transfer in the amount of $150,522.58. Read "MOVIN' on up" for the details of his latest fraud prevention efforts.
Recently, ServiceLink in Texas received an order for a loan only, cash out transaction. The property, which was the subject of the transaction, was free and clear. The transaction had several red flags the title officer recognized based on previous communications from the Southwest Underwriting Team. Kim Pora followed the steps provided by the Underwriting Department and was successful in identifying the transaction as a risky one, so the Company was unwilling to close and insure. Read "MULTIPLICITY" for all of the details.
Throughout the year, we are publishing articles on the value of title insurance for our readers. The purpose is to provide history to our readers who are new to the industry. We are also publishing the articles for well–seasoned readers to provide simple talking points for our customers and the public we serve, and review the true value of the products and services we offer. This month's issue contains the details of the case that gave rise to the need for title insurance. Read "WATSON v. muirhead" to discover how our industry came about.