Fraudsters zoom in on property law firms

By Neasa MacErlean

28 July 2015 at 06:36 BST

Property law firms are turning out to be a particular target for fraudsters in the UK because of their access to the bank account details of clients and because time pressure in property transactions often provides opportunities for fraud.

Property law firms are increasingly targeted by fraudsters Sarawut Aiemsinsuk

Law firms are increasingly the targets for fraud, according to the Solicitors Regulation Authority. It is seeing a growing number of reports made to it by law firms who have been approached by or already fallen victim to fraudsters. Property firms are most at risk, with fraudsters tending to use one of two routes: they phone law firms and pretend to be calling from a bank as a way to get account information about clients. They also intercept emails between clients and firms, then get the bank involved to change the number of the account receiving cash deposits to a fraudulent account. 

Return to fax

Sonita Hayward, an associate at Bolt Burdon Kemp, said: 'Conveyancing firms are particularly vulnerable, because the transaction values are so high that if fraudsters can pull off even one of these transactions, they can get their hands on a lot of money.' Some law firms are returning to using the post or fax in order to avoid the risk of being subjected to fraud. Source: Financial Times


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