in this issue

By Lisa A. Tyler
National Escrow Administrator

The city of Philadelphia's records department has made its free Deed Fraud Guard service available to homeowners and commissioned notaries. This effort continues the record department's efforts to fight deed fraud and protect families' generational wealth. Find out more in the story titled "DEED fraud guard."

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac allow the use of attorney opinion letters (AOLs) in lieu of a title insurance policy under limited circumstances. AOLs are intended to further the Equitable Housing Finance Plans announced earlier this year by the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) which are aimed at lowering closing costs and making home ownership more accessible for low- to moderate- income and minority homebuyers. To clarify what that means for the protection of property rights and the title insurance industry, read "AOLS." 

A cryptocurrency tumbler service is being used to lower recovery of stolen funds in diverted wire transfer scams. The time to detect and deny an illegal act of diverted funds is being interrupted by the tumbler service. Read the article titled "TUMBLER" for more information. 

Several governmental agencies track reported ransomware attacks. Detecting and reporting attempted, and successful ransomware attacks makes it possible for law enforcement to hold the criminals behind the attacks accountable for their crimes and provide tips for preventing future attacks. This also enables them to be able to learn the latest tactics being used to stop the syndicates from being able to launder their ill-gotten gains. There are many reports on the number and types of ransomware attacks. The article titled "RESOURCES" focuses on the FBI's IC3 2020 Internet Crimes Report and FinCEN's analysis based on suspicious activity reports filed.

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