ALTA TitleNews Online Archive
November 29, 2018
The Internal Revenue Service and Security Summit partners recently issued a warning about the surge of fraudulent emails impersonating the IRS and using tax transcripts as bait to entice users to open documents containing malware.
The scam is especially problematic for businesses whose employees might open the malware because the software can spread throughout the network and potentially take months to successfully remove.
Known as Emotet, this malware generally poses as specific banks and financial institutions in its effort to trick people into opening infected documents.
In the past few weeks, the scam masqueraded as the IRS, pretending to be from “IRS Online.” The scam email carries an attachment labeled “Tax Account Transcript” or something similar, and the subject line uses some variation of the phrase “tax transcript.”
These clues can change with each version of the malware. Scores of these malicious Emotet emails were forwarded to email@example.com.
The IRS reminds taxpayers it does not send unsolicited emails to the public, nor would it email a sensitive document such as a tax transcript, which is a summary of a tax return. The IRS urges taxpayers not to open the email or the attachment.
If using a personal computer, delete or forward the scam email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you see these using an employer’s computer, notify the company’s technology professionals.
Reprinted with permission from the American Land Title Association.
Tracey Webb, a Senior Vice President and Southeastern Region Agency Manager for Alliant National, has 30 years of title industry experience and is based in Atlanta
LONGMONT, Colo. – Alliant National Title Insurance Company (Alliant National) recently announced that Senior Vice President and Southeastern Region Agency Manager Tracey Webb, a title industry leader for over three decades, received the National Title Professional (NTP) designation from the American Land Title Association.
The American Land Title Association advises the NTP designation is designed to recognize land title professionals who demonstrate the knowledge, experience and dedication essential to the safe and efficient transfer of real property.
“Tracey is a very accomplished, professional and highly regarded title insurance industry executive,” said Kyle Rank, executive vice president, agency, Alliant National. “Meeting the NTP designation’s stringent standards and criteria is further proof of her dedication to our independent agents’ success.”
Webb, who graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Business Administration, is also a Certified Public Accountant and is responsible for Alliant National’s agency group in the southeast.
“Advancing our industry through education and professional standards helps us all,” Webb said. “I look forward to continuing using my skills to serve our independent agents.”
Visit alliantnational.com/newsroom for additional information.
Cathie Beck Capital City Public Relations e : email@example.com p : 303-241-0805
About Alliant National Title Insurance Company
The Independent Underwriter for The Independent Agent®, Alliant National believes in putting other people first. The company protects the dreams of property owners with secure title insurance and partners with 450+ trusted independent title agents as a licensed underwriter in 24 states and the District of Columbia, with annual revenues exceeding $120 million. Visit alliantnational.com/newsroom for additional information.
The American Land Title Association issued its Title Insurance and Settlement Company Best Practices to protect consumers, which pertain to seven operational areas. Best Practices is a voluntary tool designed to help title companies demonstrate the safeguards they have in place to ensure closing activities meet all applicable laws and regulations.
1. Licensing: Establish and maintain current license(s) as required to conduct the business of title insurance and settlement services.
Purpose: Maintaining state mandated insurance licenses and corporate registrations (as applicable) ensures that the company remains in good standing with the state.
2. Escrow / Trust Accounting: Adopt and maintain appropriate written procedures and controls for Escrow Trust Accounts allowing for electronic verification of reconciliation.
Purpose: Appropriate and effective escrow controls and staff training help title and settlement companies meet client and legal requirements for the safeguarding of client funds. These procedures ensure accuracy and minimize the exposure to loss of client funds. Settlement companies may engage outside contractors to conduct segregation of trust accounting duties.
3. Privacy + Information Security: Adopt and maintain a written privacy and information security plan to protect Non-public Personal Information as required by local, state and federal law.
Purpose: Federal and state laws (including the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act) require title companies to develop a written information security program that describes their procedures to protect non-public customer information. The program must be appropriate to the company’s size and complexity, the nature and scope of the company’s activities, and the sensitivity of the customer information the company handles. A company evaluates and adjusts its program in light of relevant circumstances, including changes in the firm’s business or operations, or the results of security testing and monitoring.
4. Document Recordation / Title + Settlement Pricing: Adopt standard real estate settlement procedures and policies that ensure compliance with Federal and State Consumer Financial Laws as applicable.01/02/2013
Purpose: Adopting appropriate policies and conducting ongoing employee training can ensure that a real estate settlement company can meet state, federal and contractual obligations governing the settlement process and provide a safe and compliant settlement.
5. Title Policy Production / Premium Remittance: Adopt and maintain written procedures related to title policy production, delivery, reporting and premium remittance.
Purpose: Appropriate procedures for the production, delivery and remittance of title insurance policies ensures title companies meet their legal and contractual obligations.
6. Professional Liablity Insurance + Fidelity Coverage: Maintain appropriate professional liability insurance and fidelity coverage.
Purpose: Appropriate levels of professional liability (errors and omissions insurance) ensure that title agencies and settlement companies have the financial capacity to stand behind their professional services. In addition, state law and contractual obligations may require a company to maintain fidelity bond and surety bond policies with prescribed minimum amounts of coverage.
7. Consumer Complaints: Adopt and maintain procedures for resolving consumer complaints.
Purpose: A process for receiving and addressing consumer complaints is important to ensure that any instances of poor service or non-compliance do not go undiscovered.