A Florida title agent recently had its e-mail account hacked into including personal information and loan packages from lenders.
The hacker then "spoofed" the agent's e-mail address (“spoofing” is done by forging e-mail addresses, making it more difficult to trace a message back to its sender, and easy for spammers to hide their identity in order to avoid responsibility. It is also used in phishing techniques, where users can be duped into disclosing private information in response to an email purportedly sent by an organization such as a bank).
Additionally, the hacker attempted to transfer funds from the agent's bank account to an out-of-state bank account.
This was obviously a very serious breach of the agent's business and could result in loss of escrow account funds, as well as illegal and damaging use of private customer information in the hacked e-mail account.
Underwriters, you may want consider warning your agents about the possibility of e-mail hackers and the importance of using a strong password (something impossible to guess, including uppercase and lowercase letters and numbers, and symbols), periodically changing bank account passwords, keeping their antivirus software updated and avoiding opening attachments to emails from unknown sources.