Alliant National’s Crime Watch Program Caps Off Another Successful Year
Alliant National’s Crime Watch Program is a great example of the old saying that the best defense is a good offense. Designed to incentivize Alliant National’s policy-issuing agents to detect and prevent fraud, the program had a banner year during 2023. Working together, Alliant National’s network of agents prevented scores of fraudulent transactions from going forward over the past 12 months. These efforts not only protected against sizable losses but helped promote a safer and more secure industry. Now that the year has wrapped up, let’s dig into the numbers.
A problem of incredible scope
With property information readily available with a click of the mouse, it is easier than ever for bad actors to research and identify potential targets. The result has naturally been a huge uptick in criminal activity over the last few years. In fact, FBI data indicates that “more than 13,000 people were victims of wire fraud in the real estate and rental sector in 2020, with losses of more than $213 million — an increase of 380% since 2017.”[i]
Fighting fraud requires all hands on deck
To help empower independent agents and assist the title industry in combating fraud, Alliant National initiated its Crime Watch Program several years ago. The initiative rewards agents $1,000 each time they prevent a fraudulent transaction – and the results have been impressive. Year after year, Alliant National’s agents have helped stem the tide of criminals targeting the industry, identifying fraudulent behavior and saving consumers from financial loss and unnecessary stress.
During the program’s lifespan, we’ve seen a number of best practices to help prevent fraud:
- Never accept wire instructions over email.
- Double-check all contact information. Then, check it again.
- Always send wire instructions through a secure, encrypted communication channel.
- Pay particular attention to any last-minute changes with a transaction, especially with wire transfer information.
- Speak directly to clients to make sure they are who they say they are.
- Become as familiar as you can with the history of the property you’re working with and watch for any irregularities.
- Stay current with all continuing education classes to remain apprised of the latest developments in title fraud and cybercrime.
- Trust your gut when something feels off and work closely with colleagues to have a unified front against fraudsters.
- Use real world examples of fraudulent activity to educate colleagues or employees on how to spot fraud.
- Have a response plan in place if a fraudster is able to get around your agency’s defenses.
2023 was a successful year of fraud busting
For Alliant National’s Crime Watch Program in 2023, past successes were prelude to a tremendous year of fraud busting. Collectively, agents identified and prevented over 25 instances of fraud, totaling more than $280 million in proposed liability. The agents involved in stopping these fraudsters came from a variety of states – including Florida, Missouri and Texas – and the specifics of each fraudulent transaction also ran the gamut. Some of the top schemes encountered by agents included:
- Business email compromise
- Seller impersonation
- Fraudulent contracts
- Fraudulent documents like passports
- Fraudulent cashiers’ checks
Let’s stop fraudsters in 2024
Everyone has their own New Years’ resolutions, but for the title insurance industry, one of the most important should be taking all available actions to detect and ultimately prevent fraud. Since the inception of Alliant National’s crime watch program, we have seen how powerful it is when agents proactively address suspicious transactions. While not all fraud can be prevented, the program is a testament to what the industry can do when it unites against criminals.
Want to learn more about Alliant National’s crime watch program and how your agency can get rewarded for stopping fraudsters? Start here.