in this issue

By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

On November 29, 2021, an 87-year-old buyer from Pittsburgh, sent a wire transfer in the amount of $342,838.03 to purchase a home in a retirement community in Arizona. The funds were intended to reach Security Title Agency in Glendale, Arizona, but they never arrived. We have all heard of the diverted wire transfer scam perpetrated on real estate buyers, but in this story the funds were not illegally diverted to a fraudster's account, instead they were illegally diverted to another title company! See how this story unfolds in "A days head start," which reveals the construction equipment scheme from 2017 has resurfaced in the real estate industry.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) published a Public Service Announcement (PSA) on December 3, 2021, entitled "MONEY mules: a financial crisis," which is reprinted in this edition of Fraud Insights. One of the most interesting parts of the announcement is the consequence an individual suffers as a result of acting as a money mule. 

Cybercrime occurs when a person uses an online network and a computer to commit fraud. In most cases the computer is used to commit the criminal act and another computer is the target. It threatens the public's safety. Each month in 2022, Fraud Insights will contain a new cybercrime article; this month read "RANSOMWARE."

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