Avoiding Cybercrime and Risk of Fraud in Conveyancing

Guide to reduce your risk of loss through cybercrime fraud

Transferring money between bank accounts is a high-risk area and subject to cybercrime and fraud.

Please, therefore, read this page before you transfer money to a third-party bank account. Especially during a property transaction such as here.

Related: Housing and Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Bournemouth

Each legal firm has different warnings but for those using (or transferring money to), AVRillo please use this cybercrime risk of fraud and financial loss warning page and all links referred to below and on our documents to you.

If you are transferring money to a third-party bank account, you should read this cybercrime risk of fraud and financial loss warning.

Also, view the BBC article http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-41897888

Cybercrime, fraud, and risk of loss in property transactions

The most common senders of money in property transactions are buyers, sellers, and donors (those making a gift of money to a buyer to help purchase their property).

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Billions of pounds are stolen each year in UK property transactions due to fraud by email, text, and telephone hacking. This results in money being transferred to fraudulent bank accounts, not the correct lawyers, for example, resulting in the person making the transfer losing their money forever to the fraudster.

Sellers and Buyers, and any other party transferring money (such as a person making a gift, Donor), are at a high risk of being hacked with Cybercrime and fraud attacks from genuine-looking emails, texts, or telephone calls, pretending to be from their lawyers (e.g., from AVRillo if money is to be transferred to AVRillo but in fact will not be from us). This could be a result of criminals hacking your PC, tablet, or mobile emails.

Steps you must take to reduce your risk of cybercrime from criminal hacking if transferring money to AVRillo:

1/ Do not send your bank account details to AVRillo, or anyone else, if requested by email, text, etc. It will be from a fraudster, and you will lose your money because AVRillo will only request bank details by letter, by post, on AVRillo’s letter-headed paper with branded logo.

2/ AVRillo will never request client bank details by email or text. If such a request is received, it will be from a fraudster.

3/ Do not send money to bank account details contained in an email, text, etc., even if it looks like that email or text, etc., is from AVRillo. It will not be from AVRillo but a criminal impersonating AVRillo. You will lose your money.

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4/ AVRillo’s bank account number and sort code are only sent by AVRillo, to their client, by a separate letter by post.

5/ AVRillo’s bank account details will NEVER change.

6/ AVRillo will never provide their bank details by email, text, or telephone, but only send these in a letter sent by post to the person making the money transfer to them.

6/ Reporting Cybercrime:

If you receive such an email, get, call, or suspect cybercrime fraud, do not act upon it, but instead make three immediate calls:

a). Call your bank to stop the payment and warn them;
b). Call the conveyancer looking after the case on 0208 370 3877
c). Call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or report at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

6/ Read our ‘Avoiding Cybercrime in Conveyancing’ Guide

7/ Read the advice on The National Cyber Security Centre website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk

8/ Optional, but recommended:
Log onto the website for The Safe Buyer Scheme at https://www.safebuyerscheme.co.uk/. You pay them a £12 fee; they allow you to do an online search and verify any solicitor details, including ours.

Related: Get A Conveyancing Quote From Property Conveyancing Solicitors in Daventry

Note, if you prefer, you can opt to correspond by post only, in which case, please notify your conveyancer immediately on 0208 370 3877.

In summary,

Conveyancing transactions are rated with a high risk of fraud and cybercrime. Hacking emails between lawyers, clients, and third parties are now the most common crime in legal transactions. Emails and texts are unsecured, meaning all sellers, buyers, and third parties transferring money must be vigilant when opening emails, links, and texts. Also, all clients, lawyers, and third parties must safeguard their email accounts (ensuring they have sufficient cyber security software installed) because criminals can hack these accounts, send spam emails, then use that hack to ask money to be transferred to a fraudulent bank account, even though it looks like it’s from the lawyer.