Protecting against conveyancing fraud
- AuthorNadia Santry
It has been reported by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (SRA) that cyber crime within the conveyancing sector is the highest in the profession, with a massive £7 million being lost by clients last year alone.
The fraudsters target emails. By logging into an individual's email account, they alter the client's or solicitor's bank details to their own, meaning that once sent, the funds will be received by the fraudsters and become extremely difficult to reclaim.
As the majority of clients like to move on Fridays, fraudsters are targeting law firms on a Friday afternoon, as this is when conveyancers will be at their busiest, giving fraudsters the opportunity to go undetected.
During your conveyancing transaction Hughes Paddison will send you bank details at the beginning of the matter. Should you need our bank details at any point, we will refer you back to our initial letter/information pack. If for any reason our firm's bank details are ever sent to you by email then you must call us and speak to your solicitor before funds are sent to check their accuracy. Hughes Paddison will never notify you of a change in our bank details by email. Similarly if funds are due to you following completion, we will ask for your bank details in writing, and if sent by email, we will call you prior to completion to confirm that they are accurate.
Moving house is one of the most stressful times in a person's life, don't make it more stressful by leaving yourself open to 'Friday afternoon fraud'. Please be vigilant and advise us if you notice anything suspicious.