February 26, 2020

In This Issue:

  • 2019 Internet Crime Report Released
  • Early Voting for Primary Elections Continues
  • Demystifying the Risks of Flooding
  • CLARIFICATION: TDI Article Regarding How to Print Your Insurance License

2019 Internet Crime Report Released

FBI | Feb. 11, 2020
Internet-enabled crimes and scams show no signs of letting up, according to data released by the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) in its 2019 Internet Crime Report. The last calendar year saw both the highest number of complaints and the highest dollar losses reported since the center was established in May 2000.
IC3 received 467,361 complaints in 2019—an average of nearly 1,300 every day—and recorded more than $3.5 billion in losses to individual and business victims. The most frequently reported complaints were phishing and similar ploys, non-payment/non-delivery scams, and extortion. The most financially costly complaints involved business email compromise, romance or confidence fraud, and spoofing, or mimicking the account of a person or vendor known to the victim to gather personal or financial information.
Donna Gregory, the chief of IC3, said that in 2019 the center didn’t see an uptick in new types of fraud but rather saw criminals deploying new tactics and techniques to carry out existing scams.
“Criminals are getting so sophisticated,” Gregory said. “It is getting harder and harder for victims to spot the red flags and tell real from fake.
Read More »
Read the FBI's Report »
Learn More via TLTA's Cyber Security Resources »

Early Voting for Primary Elections Continues

TLTA | Feb. 25, 2020
Texas is an open-primary state. As long as you are registered to vote, you can vote in either the Republican or Democratic primary, but not both. Regardless of the primary in which you choose to vote, you can vote for candidates of any party during the general election in November. 
On this year's primary election ballots you will find legislative, statewide, congressional and State Board of Education candidates. Thirty incumbent Texas legislators have primary challengers (28 in the House, two in the Senate). Fourteen incumbent Texas legislators have vacated their seats (13 in the House, one in the Senate), leaving those seats up for grabs. 
Voter turnout in Texas is the among the lowest in the nation, so please make a plan to vote early this week, and be sure to remind your family, friends, neighbors and coworkers that voting is one of our country's most cherished liberties.
As always, if you would like to discuss any of the candidates on your ballot or the impact of this election on our industry, please contact TLTA's Government Affairs Director, Aaron Day
Early Voting: Feb 18-28 
Primary Election: March 3 

Where and When to Vote From Texas Secretary of State »
More Primary Election Information From the Texas Tribune »

Demystifying the Risks of Flooding

Texas Realtors | Feb. 24, 2020
A representative from the Federal Emergency Management Agency delivered a webinar to Texas Realtors in December about flood terminology, flood events, risk information, and flood-related questions on the Seller’s Disclosure Notice.
The whole country is a floodplain—but some areas have a higher risk of flooding than others, according to Gilbert Giron, regional flood insurance liaison with FEMA. About 80% of homes damaged during Hurricane Harvey did not have flood insurance, and of those, 65% were not in a high-risk flood zone. All property owners—not just those in designated flood zones—benefit from learning more about flood risks, terminology, insurance, and disclosure.
Read More »

CLARIFICATION: TDI Article Regarding How to Print Your Insurance License

In last week's edition of Dateline, we ran a story that included instructions from TDI  regarding license printing. The instructions provided in that article apply to title agents only.
Escrow officers who want to print their license should email TDI at TitleLicensing@tdi.texas.gov, or call 512-676-6500.
If you are a title agent and you missed last week's article, here are instructions provided by TDI regarding how to print your license:
Go to the Sircon website and select “Print a license” from the list on the left.
There’s no fee for the first 30 days after your license is approved or renewed or if you sign up for a free Sircon for Individuals account.
Select individual or firm license and Texas from the state menu. Enter:
  • Last 4 digits of your Social Security number
  • Last name
  • License number
If you don’t remember your license number, click on the lookup link. You can also get your number from TDI’s search and renewal page.
Verify that the license information is correct and click “continue.”
Your license will be displayed, including a wallet-sized version. Click “submit.”
Click “print” from the toolbar at the top of the page.
Voila! Now it’s up to you to find the perfect frame to show off your insurance know-how.
For more information about managing your license, visit the Agent and Adjuster section of TDI's website.

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