As we approach Memorial Day weekend, there are many encouraging signs that that life as we knew it is returning. It’s estimated that over 37 million Americans will be traveling this weekend, a year-over-year increase of 62%. There are plenty of positive economic trends emerging too, and everything seems to be headed up: gold, your 401K, oil, palladium.
You probably also have heard much about home values and prices skyrocketing—unless you’ve been living under a rock, which if true, may make you want to list that rock on Zillow.
Unfortunately, this has had the effect of stoking a particularly nasty form of wire transfer fraud (as reported by the U.S. Secret Service) where cybercriminals impersonate lenders with the intention of eliciting full payment of mortgage payoffs using doctored mortgage statements sent to homeowners, lawyers, or to title insurance companies. The mortgage payoff of a home sale or refinance is sent to the cybercriminal, typically resulting in many hundreds of thousands of dollars “mis-wired”. This isn’t your typical Nigerian prince email scam where the victim loses a few hundred bucks on an amazon gift card. This is millions in potential loses to individuals with legal titles to homes left in limbo as a result.
The US Secret Service has a list of helpful tips to prevent becoming a victim of this scheme, but none of them actually root out the source of the fraud itself: the email sitting in your inbox. Now you’ve heard me already mention in this column about how RMail Recommends infuses AI at the point of sending in the compose email interface to automate recommendations or requirements for users to encrypt, send Registered Email™ messages, or send for e-sign. To protect against this type of wire fraud, RMail AI adapts the type of encryption based on the situation – if associated with a wire transfer for example, RMail sends as “top secret” which protects even if the cyber crooks are monitoring email inside the recipient’s inbox.
A comprehensive look at RMail Recommends will be happening June 17 at RPost’s Optimize!2021 virtual user conference. Click here to register.
However, you may not have known that RMail AI can also detect and alert when an inbound message is coming from one of these cyber tricksters posing as a mortgage lender, broker, lawyer, or other trusted advisor; and RMail AI can also encrypt based on the sender’s intent and previous behavior. Why every realtor, title insurance, and mortgage lender in the world is not using this feature is amazing to me!
It’s also not too hard to see how the mechanics of this title scam can be applied to many, many other industries and departments. On the HR/payroll side, there are scams where email impostors pose as employees and ask HR to change direct deposit payroll account information. (We recently wrote about this shockingly successful scam – read our prior article here.) Employers systematically pay the impostor, and no one knows until the employee wonders (having not been paid) whether they were laid off; an unfortunate development reminiscent of the character, Milton, in Office Space who was fired from his job but continued to work at his company because he ‘never got the memo’.
I hate to be a downer with all of these cybercrime warnings on the eve of this long weekend to kickoff summer, but there is good news hidden in these Secret Service warnings. Technology (RMail) is now humanizing e-security, automating more and making it easier for us humans to not have to think about e-security so we can spend more time enjoying our long weekend BBQs.