" class="no-js "lang="en-US"> Mortgage Payoff Fraud Attempts Increase 5x from Q1 to Q2 2023
Sunday, September 24, 2023

Mortgage Payoff Fraud Attempts Increase 5x from Q1 to Q2 2023, Predicted to Accelerate, According to CertifID Data

CertifID, a leading wire fraud protection company, today announced that its PayoffProtect mortgage payoff verification product tracked a 5x increase in mortgage payoff fraud attempts from Q1 to Q2 2023. CertifID also predicts that losses are slated to accelerate as July’s numbers show similarly elevated levels of payoff fraud attempts, an early indication of potential for major losses in Q3 2023.

The spike comes as PayoffProtect reached its one-year milestone, protecting over 150k transactions worth $37B with its software, services, and insurance. Today, PayoffProtect is used daily by hundreds of real estate firms and title agencies across the U.S., from regional providers to firms with operations nationwide.

Real estate wire fraud (REWF), a sub-category of business email compromise (BEC), represents one of the most financially damaging fraud schemes, and has become a major focus of the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) “due to its prevalence in the United States and the effect it can have on the individual victims.”1

With PayoffProtect, real estate firms and title agencies can validate the authenticity of wire instructions to help ensure that payments are secure. The product has delivered verification success in 96.5% of all transactions processed, typically instantly. This has enabled firms using CertifID to reduce fraud risk while saving an estimated 38,000+ employee hours in total.

“PayoffProtect is being adopted across the board because of its ability to mitigate payments risk in the face of growing fraud in real estate,” said Tyler Adams, CEO at CertifID. “Since its release one year ago, transaction volumes have grown at an impressive clip, but what is truly remarkable is the improved security and efficiency our customers experience over legacy processes. All indications are that fraud will continue to climb, and having products like PayoffProtect will enable companies to bring on stronger measures to protect themselves.”

“Stewart was pleased to be an early launch partner for PayoffProtect,” said Tara Smith, President of Agency Services at Stewart. “We’ve seen a positive impact for agencies of all sizes in terms of reduced claims, lower risk, and stronger operations by providing best in class technologies like CertifID to our customers.”

“Mortgage payoff fraud has become a significant threat targeting title agencies of all sizes,” said Cheri Hipenbecker, General Counsel, Knight Barry Title Group. “That’s why we signed up for PayoffProtect. It’s the most comprehensive product that we’ve found, and built for us in title and real estate. It’s also turned out to be hugely popular with our team as we’ve given them time back, as well as the greatest gift of all: peace of mind.”


  1. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Business Email Compromise and Real Estate Wire Fraud,” 2022. URL Reference: https://www.fbi.gov/file-repository/fy-2022-fbi-congressional-report-business-email-compromise-and-real-estate-wire-fraud-111422.pdf/view

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