Protecting Escrow Trust Accounts From Cyber-Hacking


Supporting a Fair and Secure Financial Services Marketplace for all Californians

Edmund G. Brown Jr., Governor
Jan Lynn Owen, California Corporations Commissioner

DATE: May 21, 2013

Commissioner’s Bulletin No. 002-13

Protecting Escrow Trust Accounts From Cyber-Hacking

You are being sent this urgent bulletin to alert you of the growing threat of cyber-hacking of escrow trust accounts.

The Department of Corporations has been informed of two escrow companies who were the victims of cyber-hacking this year, together losing an estimated $2,000,000 in trust funds. Both cases involved unauthorized wires to foreign bank accounts.
One company took extraordinary efforts to replace the funds and is still in business. The other company was not able to replace the funds and is currently in conservatorship. This is an important reminder that each escrow agent must be vigilant in protecting trust accounts.

Though the alleged cyber-hacking cases are still under investigation, a common issue appears to be malware and computer viruses infecting the computers. These viruses can copy keystrokes and obtain passwords, which are sent to cyber-hackers all over the world. In at least one case, it appears that the hacker took control of the escrow agent’s computer after the agent typed in a secure token number to access the trust account.

What You Can Do

Escrow companies’ paramount duty is to protect consumer funds by managing the trust accounts in a safe and sound manner. An important step in meeting that obligation is being proactive about understanding the protections offered by your bank. Escrow agents should thoroughly review security measures with the bank
and ask questions of their banker to ensure that they are using the most secure protections available.

Another protection suggested by bankers is to dedicate a single computer to be exclusively linked to trust accounts so that no other business occurs on that computer or through its Internet connection.

This practice makes it less likely that viruses will be caught by visiting questionable websites. Companies should also ensure that their computers are properly protected with up-to-date antivirus software.

Another important protection is ensuring you reconcile trust accounts promptly. All adjustments should be researched and corrected on at least a monthly basis. In the two incidents noted above, this was the ultimate factor in determining whether the company remained in business or not. Interest-bearing accounts must also be monitored.

Escrow agents should also consider insurance coverage for trust account losses due to cyber-hacking or other unauthorized access.

It is important to note that losses of this nature are not covered by Escrow Agent’s Fidelity Corporation (EAFC). Refer to Financial Code Section 17304 for the definition of losses covered by EAFC.

If a trust account shortage occurs, no matter the cause, you should immediately report it to the Department of Corporations and EAFC. Shortages must be immediately replaced.

An escrow agent will lose licensure if a trust account is not restored to its proper balance. Should you have any questions, please contact

Kathleen Partin,
Special Administrator for the Department’s Escrow Unit at (213) 576-7595.

Click to access 0002-13.pdf

Spammers email address


Internet Nobody Uncovers Massive Online Fraud

Through just a few simple hours of research I have uncovered an ongoing fraudulent operation designed to steal personal details through fake job postings on the internet.

United States,April 16,2012/ — Have you ever responded to a job posting with the promise of an interview to follow, and then nothing ever comes of it? Of course you have, its happened to all of us. But what if that company you were supposedly applying to was actually just taking your personal info and reselling it for a profit without your consent?

That’s what appears to be happening with a company based in Orlando, FL. Known as SoftRock, Inc they purport to be a mobile software designer (at least in this incarnation). Taking a leisurely stroll through their webpage lists a whole bunch of fun sounding people and activities and a company that was FOUNDED IN 2005.

Now, if you search for anything about this company you will be treated to a whole host of info concerning their past activities and the many many other companies that these people run that only seem to be in business for a year or so before disappearing completely.

Trust me, there isn’t enough space here to list all of the shady things these people have done. They operate or have operated under at least 15 different names in the past 10 years or so. And all have the same physical address and mostly the same or similar corporate officers.

And unfortunately for our silly fraudsters, doing business in Florida subjects you to Florida’s open records laws. Remember how on their website it says they were founded in 2005., Florida’s webpage for the Division of Corporations, states that their ficticious name was only registered with the state as of March 30, 2012. Here, you can see for yourself –


Looks like they’ve only been in business for a month, not the 7 years they claim.

This is what I want to stress most to the people of America who like me are out of work and desperate. Research, research, research. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. For me, I live in Florida and am very aware of our open records laws and am also aware that unfortunately there are many scammers here. So I feel like I have to research things that just don’t seem right. You reply to their job posting and immediately receive a reply that they want to interview you. That never happens, only in scammy scenarios does that ever play out.

And since its only right that I back up my statements with facts, here are some fun links for you to explore:

SoftRock’s “Timeline” –

a press release with completely different info –

the BBB listing for them –

an investigative report by WFTV in Orlando –

some older blog postings with relevant information –

Also google search for Softrock, Inc will provide you with some interesting stuff as well as the whois on the domian

In conclusion I just wanted to get this out there so other people can see these people for who they really are. They prey on the out of work and downtrodden in the hopes of making a quick buck.

BEWARE! – See more at: