Feature

Wire-transfer real estate frauds

And more of the week's best financial insight

Here are three of the week's top pieces of financial insight, gathered from around the web:

Wire-transfer real estate frauds

Potential homebuyers have a new scam to worry about, said Natalie Wong in Bloomberg Businessweek: hackers stealing their down payments. Real-estate wire fraud is on the rise, with hackers targeting "random players involved in any real estate transaction — lawyers, brokers, title agencies, mortgage lenders." Once inside a company email system, thieves may "monitor correspondence about a specific transaction for months." When it's time for, say, an eager homebuyer to wire a down payment, the thief will send "a fraudulent email to the buyer, pretending to give official instructions from the real estate or title agent." Danny Gonzales, a homebuyer in Texas, mistakenly wired $123,500 to thieves who had accessed his title agent's system. The thieves' email, which came from a Gmail account, "looked identical to hers, except for an 'e' that was changed to a 'c.'"

The burnout-relief industry

"Quiet quitting" has already spawned a cottage industry of workplace consultants pledging to "pump up employee enthusiasm," said Callum Borchers in The Wall Street Journal. "If you're running a company now, chances are your inbox is full of messages from experts claiming they can goose morale, foster connection, (and) boost buy-in." Of course, gurus have always pitched their techniques for solving burnout, but the viral "quiet quitting" meme — referring to workers doing only what's in their job description — seems to have "intensified the sense of urgency." One start-up, Rising Team, even closed a second venture capital round for "camaraderie building software."

Jail for breaking security rules

Senior security managers are worried they could face prison time for security breaches, said Jacob Carpenter in Fortune. Federal jurors last week found Uber's former chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, guilty of "two felonies related to concealing a massive hack of customer data from federal regulators." It's "believed to be the first time that prosecutors have charged a tech security executive" for failure to disclose a corporate breach. Sullivan handled the incident using "a somewhat common security practice" — paying the hackers through the company's "bug bounty" program to keep it quiet. But he later "intentionally hid the hack" from investigators and lied about Uber's security protocols. So fears of "rampant prosecutions" are "a bit exaggerated."

This article was first published in the latest issue of The Week magazine. If you want to read more like it, you can try six risk-free issues of the magazine here.

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