In recent news, conveyancing fraud has been making headlines. Stories of home owners and solicitors having their communications intercepted by fraudsters, and then posing as a party to the transaction, have unfortunately been on the rise. Large sums of money have been lost to these fraudulent schemes.
Fraud can occur in one of many ways, but the most common examples are email fraud and the cloning of an already established solicitors firm, duplicating their branding and communication so well, that any differences can be easily missed at a glance by an unsuspecting client.
Working together to help protect against fraudsters:
- Our solicitors will have direct contact with you, either by phone or in face to face meetings. All client information is kept confidential and being an SRA and FCA regulated company means that we have stringent processes in place for data protection and the storage of personal data.
- Before sending any money to another firm of solicitors, we will always check that the bank details belong to that firm by confirming them against a “safe” list. This safe list details the bank account details of firms that we have had a successful history of transactions with and are known to us. If the firm does not appear on this list we will do an online verification of their bank details. These arrangements should give you confidence that any money being sent is to genuine firms of solicitors/conveyancers only, and not fraudsters.
- We will provide you with our Bank Details when we are ready for you to send us any required money. The bank details we give you will NEVER change during the transaction. We encourage you to check our bank account details by ringing our office and speaking directly to a member of staff dealing with your case.
- If you do receive an email asking you to send money to a bank account, get in touch with your solicitor. But don’t use any contact details provided in that email. They could be fake too! If we receive your bank details by email we will ring you to confirm using contact details that you will already have been asked to supply.
- We are accredited by The Law Society and their Conveyancing Quality scheme (CQS). If our clients are uncertain of our quality or standing, our membership can be queried or confirmed with the Law Society or the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
Our conveyancing teams have been trained to spot irregular or fraudulent behaviour from callers and we regularly communicate any changes or updates with our clients by their preferred contact method. We will never ask our clients for confidential information over the phone or by email and will always confirm information that has previously been supplied to us, regarding bank account details, before sending any money.
For more information, please contact David Inch, Director at Spratt Endicott Solicitors on 01295 204015 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Michael Weightman on 01295204122 or email email@example.com.
*Disclaimer: While everything has been done to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this article, it is a general guide only. It is not comprehensive and does not constitute legal advice. Specific legal advice should be sought in relation to the particular facts of a given situation.