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Cyber Crime – Be Aware of the Cyber Thief

10 October 2018

Cyber Crime  – The risks

In our modern world, we have to careful of many new risks and dangers.  The reliance which we place on instant communication through email and internet has brought a new risk of cyber crime.  Criminals have been known to intercept emails from solicitors, fraudulently changing information with the intention of stealing your money.

This means that any person could receive the criminal’s bank account details to transfer their deposit which they have worked so hard to save.

A well publicised example of this is found in the below article.

https://www.theguardian.com/money/2017/jan/14/lost-67000-conveyancing-scam-friday-afternoon-fraud-legal-sector-email-hacker

A further risk of cyber crime is that emails between solicitors can be intercepted to make the same alteration.

What we do

Every time we open a file, we send a warning about cyber security to each and every client. This is sent in the post.  Our letter warns of the risks associated with cyber crime as these interceptions are very different to anything that you may have seen previously.

As a firm, we will never send you our full bank account details in a single document.  The first part of our account details will be confirmed to you upon instruction.  The second will be confirmed with you when we are ready to receive funds.  We will always look to confirm our second part of our account details over the telephone or by text.

Any other solicitor’s account details which we receive to send monies to are also checked against details held centrally by mortgage lenders.  This check is carried out each time regardless of how many times we have dealt with that firm before.

Our actions help in reducing the risk of you being targeted and we ask that you help us in this.

What you can do

Please be wary of emails that contain full bank account details.  We will never send you our bank details by email.

Be vigilant – a fraudulent email will appear genuine but it may have small errors in how they read – or even in the sender’s address.

Before sending any money to us, please telephone us on the number you have used to contact us previously.  An intercepted email could also contain a fraudulent telephone number – so please be wary of this.

If you prefer, you can send us a nominal amount such as a £1.00 and we can confirm receipt of this before you make a further payment.

Remember that we will never advise you of a change in bank account details by email or provide full account details in one go.

For further information and guidance on cyber crime, please visit the following websites:-

http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/support-services/practice-management/cybersecurity-and-scam-prevention/the-biggest-cyber-threat-of-all-friday-afternoon-fraud/

https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/support-and-prevention/protect-yourself-from-fraud

https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/24/uk-fraud-record-cybercrime-kpmg

If you are selling or buying a property and need a conveyancing solicitor, please give us a call on 01270 625478 and our team will be happy to help. Alternatively you can visit our Residential Conveyancing services page here or complete this form for a call back.

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