According to an article appearing on AOL online yesterday, it was reported that scammers have been committing conveyancing fraud by intercepting solictors emails, swindling 91 people over the last 12 months according to the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
These fraudsters have diverted more than £10 million in funds directly to themselves in the last year by hacking into purchasers emails, this fraud is believed to be carried out by gangs operating overseas.
The scam is carried out by the fraudsters hacking into the email communications between the parties involved in the conveyancing of the property, on the day of the exchange they email the buyer as if they were the solicitor informing them of a change of bank details, all appears very genuine but the money does not arrive at the solicitors bank to complete the purchase, it has infact been stolen by the fraudsters.
Paul Philip, Chief Executive of The Solicitors Regulation Authority reportedly said,
“Law firm client accounts are being targeted and solicitors and their clients are suffering disruption and potential loss. It is essential that firms understand the risks and take precautions to avoid falling victim to these attacks.
“This is an issue that is not going away. This is obvious not just from the reports we are receiving direct from law firms and members of the public, but also in our discussions with local law societies.”