Fidelity National Financial, a provider of title insurance and settlement services to the real estate and mortgage industries, is working to prevent wire fraud in today’s growing digital environment.
Thomas Cronkright, CertifID cofounder and CEO and Sun Title Agency CEO, explained in a recent interview with HousingWire why this is so dangerous.
“You’ve got remote distancing, so the teams just aren’t synced as tight as what they were,” Croknright said. “A lot of the law enforcement at the federal level that helps with wire fraud are still working from home.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimated that $1.77 billion was stolen in 2019 due to wire fraud. This threat is also rising faster than predicted due to COVID-19 and the surge in digital transactions.
FNF is now expanding its digital options to continue to combat wire fraud. This week, the company announced it delivered more than 800,000 of its digital opening packages to consumers. It reported that 70% of these packages were opened and 85% of consumers that started the startSafe interview completed it.
Part of its WireSafe program, which seeks to help educate consumers about wire fraud, startSafe engages with consumers through the title company’s secure digital workspace. The program looks to lessen the dependency on email and immediately introduces consumers to the digital portal, which uses multi-factor authentication to mitigate risks.
And FNF is now expanding its startSafe offerings by allowing consumers to deposit their earnest money through the portal. The company said new features, like the mobile earnest money deposit, make the process of starting a real estate transaction more convenient and safe.
The earnest money mobile deposit option is currently in production in several markets and will be available in all markets by the end of October.
“This is exciting,” said Krista Christensen, FNF vice president of cyber and wire strategies. “We are making the home buying experience not only safer and more transparent for consumers, but more convenient.”