One of the greatest threats consumers face today is the risk of online fraud. We understand this is a concern for all of our clientele in this digital age.
Many escrow companies rely on compliance with state standards to assure you that your deposit funds are safe. Homestead Escrow exceeds compliance with state standards and yet we are all aware by now the criminals are often far ahead of these standards.
First of all it’s important to understand the difference between “In-House” escrow (broker owned or affiliated) and a Truly Independent Escrow company.
Broker owned/Affiliate escrow companies are regulated by the Bureau of Real Estate. The BRE has lower thresholds of compliance standards.
Secondly you need to understand that protecting your funds is a 2 step process:
Step 1: Protecting your funds from cyber fraud
What makes Homestead different?
We rely on, and have invested heavily in, the most up to date technology and policy standards that are available. Because hoping that we are protected is not good enough we proactively consult with specialists within the FBI’s Cyber Crimes division as well as leaders in the Information Technology field to ensure we are completely up to date protecting your funds because the threats are constantly changing.
This is why we have gone so far as to create a proprietary “Multilevel Offline Credentialing” protocol based upon FBI cyber fraud division’s recommendations to ensure that even if a hacker intercepts information between other 3rd parties (Realtor, title company, etc.) they cannot assume your identity and fraudulently redirect your funds. To date we are the only escrow company employing this method to protect your funds.
We also provide regular training to update our employees on current cyber threats as they appear. This is not a once a year process to ensure you are protected. It is a daily process and we treat it as such.
Other items that ensure your protection:
- All banking computers reside on a completely separate network which is not connected to the internet.
- All banking transactions involving wiring funds require at least two encrypted keys to access computers and two or more authorizations before funds can be wired. All checks also require dual signatures.
- We use “Positive Pay” with our bank to ensure that all checks are accounted for and cannot be fraudulently “washed” or otherwise submitted twice for payment. This system operates in “real time”.
- All employees are cleared using fingerprint ID as well as background checks through the Department of Justice & FBI.
- All emails pass through encryption servers before leaving our emails servers & we employ a specialized IT firm to audit our network 24/7 for any security concerns and ensure no network breaches occur.
Step 2: Insuring against losses
We are bonded by Escrow Agency Fidelity Corporation. We also have Cyber Liability Insurance to cover any loses should they occur, in addition to Errors and Omissions Insurance
Don’t be shy about asking us or any of our competitors about the security measures taken to protect your funds so that you can sleep well at night knowing that your funds are secure.