Title industry experts have unveiled CertifID
, a wire fraud prevention platform designed to safely authenticate the identities of transactional parties and share banking information securely. CertifID uses proprietary digital device analysis and knowledge-based authentication sequencing and provides a guarantee up to $500,000.
According to the owners, Thomas Cronkright II and Lawrence Duthler, CertifID was born out of a need to prevent another fraud incident from happening to them. The founders experienced a wire fraud which affected Sun Title, their Michigan-based title agency, in Spring of 2015, costing them $180,000.
“Our experience with fraud was one of the most terrifying in our professional careers,” said Duthler. “It took us two years and countless hours, but we were able to recover a majority of the funds we lost. During that time, we were exposed to the depth and sophistication of the global cyber fraud network. It is shocking.”
Cronkright and Duthler assembled a team of title and technology experts to develop a new wire fraud prevention platform, designed to confirm the true identities of people and expose fraud so that all parties to the transaction are protected. CertifID’s proprietary technology verifies the identity of an individual (such as a participating escrow officer, buyer or seller) as well as bank account credentials, enabling those involved in a real estate transaction to transfer funds securely. In addition, CertifID’s system is backed by a $500,000 guarantee.
“Fraud hit what we call an ‘inflection point’ last Fall, as fraudsters began to insert themselves in real estate transactions with incredible precision and timing,” said Cronkright. “We saw a fraud attempt in West Michigan that was so sophisticated, that we realized we needed the ability to verify a party’s identity and bank account information at critical points in the transaction in order to prevent another fraud incident.”
CertifID’s patent-pending technology harnesses billions of digital records and Internet metadata to confirm the identity of an individual and the device they are using in the course of the transaction. Once the identity has been established, bank account information is shared, credentialed and confirmed by the person who will be receiving funds from a real estate transaction.