Conveyancers Are Line Of Defence Against Fraudsters

The coronavirus pandemic hasn’t hampered the work of criminals who have used the virus as an excuse to adapt their methods and step up their activity, as they attempt to defraud people out of their hard-earned cash.

In these tough times of recession, and people experiencing financial worries and redundancy, they are seemingly easy prey for criminals who want to extract their financial details and make a quick buck.

As much as clients need to protect themselves, conveyancers are an additional line of defence, as they are aware of the length’s criminals will go to in an attempt to defraud clients of their monies.

What types of fraud should I be looking out for?

Some types of fraud that you need to be aware of are:

  • ID fraud
  • Income fraud – evidenced by fake pay slips and or banking details
  • Employment fraud – where does the individual work
  • Property fraud – do they own the property they are selling?
  • Spoofing of email addresses and alternate banking details sent to client/third parties

Writing in Mortgage Solutions, Bob Hunt, Chief Executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services, wrote:

“Advisors are certainly one line of defence in trying to stop fraud and, for the most part, we as an industry are very successful at doing this.

“Let’s be frank, some of these attempts can be crude to say the least and there are normally multiple giveaways which, at the very least, should raise suspicions that can be identified and investigated.

“Others will be more sophisticated, and clearly with the increased use of technology within the property process, there are opportunities to use technology to defraud more than ever before.

“However, the very same technology can also be used to combat the fraudsters particularly in areas like identity and documentation checking or having secure systems that cannot be infiltrated.”

Conducting due diligence is key, but Bob leaves an additional bit of advice that you could give to clients.

He writes:

“Advisers also have a duty of care to their clients and part of that will be around the potential for fraudsters to target them.

“In that regard, clients should be warned about publicising their property transactions via social media and the like, because undoubtedly fraudsters will use that information to try and access emails and infiltrate the process.”

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