The fraudsters after conveyancers’ money

Conveyancing firms in England and Wales handle close to 100,000 transactions a month. With the average property worth £186,325, it is easy to see why fraudsters find conveyancing transactions so irresistible. Firms must be vigilant, particularly as the methodologies adopted by fraudsters are constantly evolving.

04 Feb 2016

Historically, fraudsters tended to target specific properties, but this required a significant amount of legwork, including the setting up of a bogus law firm complete with website to handle the 'sale'. Although firms should still beware bogus firms, most frauds now fall under the cyberattack banner, of which the three most common are phishing attacks (by email), vishing attacks (by telephone), and man-in-the-middle (MITMA) attacks.

Most phishing attacks are quite easy to spot, with numerous examples on the ActionFraud and Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) websites, although fake emails purportedly from the SRA, Law Society, or Land Registry cause most concern. P...

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