New York Metro Wire Fraud Prevention

Stewart Title: To the Point! Know More. Do Better.

The following blog is part of our New York team's "To the Point" title insurance news blog series. Learn more about the series via our New York Metro or Upstate New York markets.

Stewart Title NY Metro Helps Combat and Prevent Fraudulent Wire Transfers

In early 2022, NY Metro, Stewart Title Insurance Company’s direct issuing office in New York (“NY Metro”) began rolling out new technologies made available to the title insurance industry by CertifID, a third-party wire fraud recovery and prevention company specializing in propriety software intended to not only combat wire fraud, but also, to provide recovery services in the event a fraud has occurred. As we conclude the first quarter of 2023, NY Metro is pleased to formally announce that these valuable services have been fully implemented free of charge and are intended for compulsory use in every instance where incoming and outgoing wire transfers are utilized by NY Metro to: (1) transmit monies between parties for any reason, (2) satisfy open mortgages or liens and (3) for payment of any other closing related expense or invoice.

Services Does CertifID Provide?

CertifID is in the business of procuring, verifying and ensuring that wire transfer information provided by and between parties to a real estate transaction is accurate, up to date, and free from fraud. Unlike todays generally accepted, yet antiquated practices for exchange of wire information, which includes sending same by facsimile or email with a verbal verification call to follow; wire information is exchanged between the parties by use of CertifID’s software platform ONLY.

For example, to secure a copy of NY Metro’s wire instructions, the requesting party must provide our office with their name, address, email address and telephone number. This information is forwarded on from NY Metro to CertifID. Thereafter, the requesting party will receive a text or email message from CertifID asking the requestor to validate their identity by entering a code or by answering a few identity verification questions. Once completed and verified, the requesting party will directly receive a copy of NY Metro’s current, up-to-date properly verified wire instructions by way of a secure email and/or text message, together with any other instructions needed to transmit a wire to NY Metro for whatever the intended purpose may be. Absent unrelated questions, no additional communication between the requestor and NY Metro is required.

NY Metro’s wire instructions will only be transmitted via CertifID. We will never email or call you changing these wire instructions. Any attempts to do so from someone purporting to be from NY Metro should be treated as an attempt at wire fraud.

The same process is engaged by NY Metro if, for example, upon receipt of funds transmitted by the requesting party noted above, NY Metro is then asked to disburse said funds to multiple parties. In this case, each party expecting to receive a wire from NY Metro will have to provide their name, address, email address and telephone number before any monies can be transmitted. Upon receipt, a NY Metro employee, or in many cases, Underwriting Counsel, will forward said information to CertifID, which will, in turn, contact the party directly by text message/email to verify not only their identity, but also, the validity of the wire information that said party will provide to CertifID during the question and answer verification process. The entire verification process takes only minutes and once completed, there are no follow up phone calls required nor is either party requested to take any further action.

Essentially, CertifID has not only dispensed with the telephone call verification step between parties sending wires to one another, but in addition, CertifID utilizes a software program capable of verifying:

  1. the identity of the wire recipient,
  2. that the recipient is using a trusted device; and
  3. the accuracy of the wire instructions associated with that recipient.
    Consequently, by engaging CertifID in the wire verification process, the parties have heightened protections against fraud in the transmission of a wire to an unintended or fraudulent recipient.

Additionally, in the unlikely event that an actual fraud occurs, CertifID is a front-line defender in that CertifID will partner with you by taking immediate action to recover the wire. In the event recovery is unsuccessful, CertifID provides monetary insurance in varying amounts, which will guarantee reimbursement of most, if not all of the funds transmitted in accordance with CertifID’s wire verification process as detailed above.

Enjoy CertifID’s Value Added Services in Your Day-to-Day Operations

In addition to identify verification, monetary recovery and reimbursement services utilized to ensure successful wire transmissions, CertifID also provides wire verification services to ensure the accuracy and security of lender mortgage payoff wire information, together with a secondary menu of services designed to appeal directly to NY Metro’s individual and businesses clients. Please feel free to visit CertifID’s website for a comprehensive review of the wire fraud services that we at NY Metro are providing to our clients free of charge; while at the same time, you can investigate the additional services and protections offered by CertifID, which services may result in a good fit for your day to day real estate and title insurance needs.