An increase in fraud in conveyancing transactions
An increasing number of home purchasers are being conned out of their money towards the end of the conveyancing transaction.
Cyber criminals pose as solicitors or banks and email house purchasers requesting account details. The purchaser, believing the criminal is who they say they are, provides the account information. The criminals then go on to use the details to steal the funds online.
The Telegraph reported on an example of this type of fraud here: Another homebuyer loses £67k as solicitors fail to warn of email fraud.
You can also read our blog on this issue from a few months ago here: Be aware of bogus emails claiming to be from your solicitor.
Always be alert – is the email for real?
We always talk through the risk of cyber crime in conveyancing transactions with our clients. In particular, we let our clients know that we will never change our banking details half-way through a transaction.
We do send out account details to our clients by email when we are making arrangements for the transfer of purchase monies to our account before completion. However, in that email, we ask our client to telephone the lawyer they are dealing with at our office before they transfer any money.
Always read emails requesting information – especially financial information - carefully. Often there are a few “give-aways” in fraudulent emails that reveal the writer is not who they say they are.
If our clients send us their accounting details, we will call them before taking any action to transfer money.
If in doubt, call us!
If you are in any doubt about an email, always speak to your solicitor first.
Do not part with your cash until you are absolutely certain it is going to the right place.
We would far rather spend 5 minutes reassuring you that an email is from us than have to deal with a theft of your hard saved deposit and completion monies.
For more information about conveyancing, contact Victoria Marshall or make an enquiry.Subscribe to our newsletter
Please note that the information and opinions contained in this article are not intended to be comprehensive, nor to provide legal advice. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by Pearson Solicitors and Financial Advisers Ltd or any of its members or employees. Professional legal advice should be obtained before taking, or refraining from taking, any action as a result of this article.
This blog was posted some time ago and its contents may now be out of date. For the latest legal position relating to these issues, get in touch with the author - or make an enquiry now.