There has been a steady increase in the number of stories of people losing out on thousands of pounds due to conveyancing scammers.
Recently one young couple lost a £45,000 house deposit after transferring money to a bank account fraudsters had told them belonged to their conveyancers.
The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) say around four companies a month are targeted by fraudsters.
Cyber criminals are becoming very skilled at hacking into email systems and monitor all emails being sent back and forth between the client and conveyancing lawyer. They go undetected and strike at the moment finances are involved – sending emails from your solicitor’s account or similar account that make it seem like a legitimate email requesting the money is transferred into a different account.
SRA Chief Executive, Paul Philip, said: “This is an issue that is not going away. Law firm client accounts are being targeted and solicitors and their clients are suffering disruption and potential loss. It’s essential that firms understand the risks and take precautions to avoid falling victim to these attacks.”
Here is our guide to avoid a conveyancing scam:-
- Sit down with your conveyancing solicitor and draw up a plan of how you will proceed with your conveyancing including contact details and bank account details for money transfers.
- Arrange to have dealings with one conveyancing solicitor only and only speak with them when confirming any details of your conveyancing.
- Always confirm with your conveyancing solicitor that all emails you receive from them are genuine
- When asked to transfer money, do not do anything until you have checked the email is genuine.
- If possible carry out any money transfers in the presence of your conveyancing solicitor , if that is not possible then confirm all the relevant details over the phone before carrying out the transfer
- If for any reason you are given a new telephone number or email address to use, told your solicitor is away on holiday or asked to transfer money into a different bank account than expected, check with the conveyancing solicitor on their original telephone number/email address.
- Report anything suspicious
If you are about to buy a house and are looking for a conveyancing solicitor contact Peter Robinson & Co. We have over 30 years of experience and provide a friendly and trusted conveyancing service.
Contact us on 0161 678 7996