The Red Flags Of Conveyancing Scamming29th July 2016

After a recent story about a couple who lost their £45,000 deposit to cyber criminals who posed as their solicitors, the risks of house buying were made prominent. House buying is a huge commitment and a stressful experience in itself when a lot of money is being transferred between two parties; however remaining vigilant and looking out for the red flags can help protect you against scams.

We’re aiming to make sure our clients stay protected when sending sensitive information to us.

How do cyber criminals get your information?

Cyber criminals are sometimes able to hack 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 accounts or similar accounts that make it seem like a legitimate email.

However, cyber scams are quite often detectable – the moment there is a mention of transfer of money they leave themselves open to suspicion once requests to transfer money into different accounts are asked. This is always a red flag.

How to avoid conveyancing scamming

A good rule of thumb before beginning your conveyancing journey is to have a plan of action, in which in case a hacker is monitoring emails, there are things you have discussed in person or on the phone that the potential hacker will not know about. For example, if you begin to suspect it is not the same person emailing you, ask for information that is not discussed in any of the emails. Another solution could be to agree to do the transfer of money via phone or even in person with your conveyancing lawyer present.

Before replying to any emails that seem to be from your solicitors, always ring them up to confirm that the email is legitimate, especially concerning your finances. Make sure you’re calling them up on their official office number for an extra measure of security as sophisticated hackers can also make very convincing phone calls to you concerning the transfer of money.

If there is any doubt in your mind that your solicitor is the person emailing you, regardless of the content of the email, always ring up and confirm that it is them.

To find out more about what to expect when buying a house click here and for the steps involved in selling a house click here.