SCARY STUFF: This is an internal email that I wanted people to understand what criminals are doing in our industry. Please be careful who you interact with by email as these crooks are smart and sneaky!!! We use a bank level encryption site with a phone call to verify.
PLEASE ALWAYS CALL YOUR REALTOR BEFORE YOU SEND ANY PERSONAL INFO (BANK #S, SS, ACCOUNT INFO) THAT IS WHAT WE ARE HERE FOR!
Dear Sales Associates,
I am writing to follow up the email sent to you from Larry Flick and Joan Docktor on July 5th. Within the past two weeks, our customers have wired over a half million dollars to fraudsters and it has been only a matter of luck and good timing that allowed these funds to be recovered. In response to the surge of wire fraud and other cybercrime in the real estate industry, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Fox & Roach, Realtors continues to intensify its efforts to protect its customers, itself, and each of you.
Attached you will find a memo which describes in detail the brokerage's current anti-fraud measures. Please read the memo carefully and note that these measures are mandatory. As explained in the E&O 2016/2017 Deductible Guidelines & Agent Reporting Procedures which were distributed to each of you in December, 2016, if you do not follow all of the company's current anti-fraud policies/procedures, then you will not be covered under the company’s Errors and Omission program and will be personally liable to cover any loss arising out of any claim against you or the company.
Here is a brief summary of the current mandatory anti-fraud measures:
> Anti-Fraud Disclosure Statement. This form is found in the seller and buyer templates (and each state library) in zipForms. It must be presented to every customer for signature (if they refuse to sign, then note that on the form with the date and keep it in the file). Effective August 1, 2017, this form will be "Required' in DTR so that a transaction will not proceed without it.
> Call the Customer. Call every customer with a pending transaction and remind them that they should never wire funds in response to an email directing them to do so. By the end of next week, all wire instructions for customers to send funds to closings conducted by Trident Land Transfer Company will be uploaded to DTR and there will be no more emails from Trident directing customers to view the instructions through the Zix portal. For closings conducted by outside title companies, the customers should be warned to verify the instructions by calling a telephone number that they know to be valid (they should not just use the number on an email that appears to be from a legitimate source).
> Email Tagline. Every email sent from a foxroach.com address automatically includes an anti-fraud warning at the bottom. If you do not use company email, then you must add that language (found on the attached memo) to all of your outgoing real estate-related emails. If you do not know how to do so, ask your email provider or contact the Fox Roach Solution Center (formerly the HelpDesk).
> No Emailing of Wire Instructions. All wire instructions are to be uploaded to and viewed from DTR. Do not take wire instructions from DTR and send them via email or other unsecure communication.
In the event that a customer is the victim of a fraud, (i.e., wiring funds to a fraudster), you must immediately notify your sales office leader as soon as you know about it. Use your best efforts to obtain the bank routing number and account number for both the bank where the funds were sent from and the bank to where the funds were sent. Getting this information quickly can sometimes help to stop the fraud and return the funds to the customer.
If you have any questions about any of these items, please ask your sales office leader who will either have the answer for you or will find it. While these measures might seem like more work, they are an important way to protect customers, yourselves and the company. Do you want to be the agent involved in a transaction where a customer loses their life savings?
Thank you for continuing to address this critical issue,