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Property transactions pose the perfect opportunity for fraudsters to try and dupe solicitors, house buyers and sellers into transferring large amounts of money into scam accounts.
This is usually done by hacking into emails sent between the buyer/seller and his solicitor. In recent months, reports of this kind of incident have become more and more prevalent and it is therefore extremely important to be aware of this to minimise the risk of it happening to you.
The most recent report of email fraud was published by The Guardian where a person’s purchase of their first home ended up with him having his £67,000 life savings stolen.
The transaction was at its final stages when the fraudsters struck after monitoring the email correspondence between the purchaser and his solicitor. The fraudsters hijacked the email address of whom the purchaser had been in contact with at the firm of solicitors and emailed the purchaser to advise that the firm’s usual bank account could not receive Chaps or Bacs payments and, to ensure they received the money from him in time for completion, to send it to their Yorkshire Bank account. The purchaser did as they said not knowing that the solicitor’s email address had been hijacked.
It was only a number of days later when the solicitors contacted him for the money that he realised something had gone terribly wrong.
Any change in sensitive information such as bank account details should never be notified by email and if you are in any doubt when transferring monies you should always speak to the relevant person directly to confirm the details and arrangements beforehand.
At Myerson, we offer a prestige conveyancing service, providing the highest quality legal advice for discerning clients. Myerson are also accredited members of the Law Society Conveyancing Quality Scheme – the mark of excellence in the residential conveyancing process.
If you would like to speak to any of our residential property solicitors regarding topics surrounding this blog please do not hesitate to contact us on 0161 941 4000 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org.