As a legal practice, one of the key areas of risk that we must always be vigilant to is online fraud.
This is a particularly inherent risk to conveyancing transactions, as significant sums of money are being moved in consideration for land or property, and in the eyes of a fraudster or scammer, if they are able to manipulate the money away from just one property transaction, it can reap the benefits to them of multiple frauds in different industries.
There are several key times throughout the year where there is an increased risk of scammers attempting to contact people purchasing properties to redirect monies to illegitimate accounts. People that are targeted in these cases are targeted entirely as they are purchasing property at these specific times of year, which usually occur when the property and legal conveyancing industries are under pressure of high volumes of work.
We are well aware of this practice and have very robust security measures and policies in place to protect our clients from such fraudulent activities. However, even with the best possible security, scammers often target people individually without our knowledge.
So we will always look to raise awareness of the risk of these fraudsters, the likely tactics they will attempt to use, and advise what steps we can all take to protect against the threat of these scams.
Things to watch out for
You may have noticed our Cybercrime Alert that is underneath the signature on all emails that we send out, giving a clear message warning of the significant risks of cyber fraud targeting individual email addresses and bank accounts.
We will never change our bank account throughout the course of a transaction, nor will we ever email clients providing updated bank details to send money to us directly. Instead, after the initial instruction, we will setup access to our portal. If and when we require monies towards a conveyancing purchase transaction from this point, we will always send an email directing clients to log in to the secure portal where the details of what is required can be found.
We do request certain payments via email, but we will have made clients aware of what is required and to expect this before any such email is sent.
If you do receive any emails that appear to be from Carters Solicitors requesting money, or that you suspect may not be from us, please always call us by phone to validate whether or not we have indeed sent such correspondence.