The Coronavirus has seen millions of us affected at work and at home.
While we are all adjusting to a new way of life, criminals and fraudsters have been rubbing their hands with glee at the disruption and uncertainty; taking advantage of people working from home.
With a range of tactics including email, phone calls, letters, criminals are targeting home movers at a time when everyone involved in the transaction is in an uncertain situation.
The ultimate aim of the deception is to infiltrate the transaction and redirect funds being transferred between banks, law firms and property vendors.
The Solicitor’s Regulation Authority, the organisation responsible for regulating solicitors, help consumers of legal services make informed choices about how to engage legal expertise.
They also report where fraudsters are active through the SRA Scam Alert website (https://www.sra.org.uk/consumers/scam-alerts/) on which they say
We aim to help you make well-informed choices about using legal services. Our scam alerts warn you about people who call themselves solicitors but are not.
These alerts tell consumers about criminal activity.
And there has been a significant spike in criminal activity throughout Covid-19.
50% of all alerts in 2020 have come in the last 3 months. While September alone accounts for 20% of the total.
So the advice is to be alert. The best way to avoid falling victim to this kind of fraud is to protect yourself.
If possible, communicate over the phone.
Where you must correspond via email, make sure that your passwords are strong and have been changed from their default setting.
We will never send you amended bank details by email. If you receive any kind of email like this do not reply and please report it to us immediately.
If you are contacted by somebody unfamiliar to you who we have not introduced, ask for their credentials and verify with a person known to you in the firm they are known to the firm and acting on your case.
With property fraud appearing more and more frequently in the media, it’s normal to be concerned about your conveyancing transaction.
Be assured we are here to help. If you have any questions or concerns please contact us on 0345 2413100 or email us at email@example.com.