In recent years more and more homebuyers and conveyancers have been targeted by criminals, leaving them at risk and in financial turmoil.
As the majority of conveyancing transactions involve large amounts of money, the effects of conveyancing fraud are often devastating to the victims.
According to whatmortgage.co.uk, the number of scams targeting the home buying process as of 2016 was more than triple what it was in 2015, and that number is continuing to rise.
How does a conveyancing scam work?
For the most part, conveyancing fraud occurs by an individual mining data for anything related to property purchases or sales. They then insert themselves into the conversation at or near the point of completion, usually posing as the conveyancing solicitor via email. This correspondence may ask you to pay an amount from one bank account to another. You may not notice that money has been transferred to the wrong account, by which time there is little trace of the scammer and/or their bank account.
How to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of conveyancing fraud:
- Ensure any emails with sensitive information are encrypted.
- If you receive a suspicious email, delete it and contact your conveyancer by telephone or in person.
- Request your conveyancer to confirm their bank details in writing.
- Should you receive an email asking you to send funds to a different bank account, always telephone or meet your conveyancer in person to verify the new bank account.
- Before sending any money to your conveyancer telephone or meet them in their office to verify their details.
Do you believe you have been a victim of conveyancing fraud?
If you believe fraud has been committed against you, you should immediately contact your bank, conveyancer and the police.
It is also vital that you have access to expert legal counsel from experienced solicitors who specialise in conveyancing fraud. Get in touch with Specters solicitors today for free, initial legal advice about making a conveyancing fraud claim.
Call 0300 303 3629 or use our simple online claims form.