It is not a new thing for email scams and reports of people’s life savings being lost and we often hear of it in the news. It is something that you often think could never happen to you and we hope not, but it is on the rise and hence we must do all that we can to protect against it!
As solicitors we are trained on new scams and ways to prevent fraud either within our firm or with clients. Now the Law Society is encouraging solicitors to pass knowledge to you, our clients to ensure that everybody can spot a scam email.
Unfortunately, Conveyancing as an area is often targeted because of the need for speed, the stress of the property journey and the eagerness of all parties. At Frodshams Solicitors we take many steps to ensure the safety of client information and funds and we talk you through these steps when you instruct us. We also post regular updates on our news page as we receive them to ensure that you are kept updated and remain aware and vigilant.
We have received latest advice and guidance regarding ‘Phone Spoofing’ from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and hence wished to share this with you.
What is Phone Spoofing?
Phone spoofing is a tactic that offenders will use to defraud victims. Phone number spoofing is where criminals use software so that when phone calls are received, the number comes up differently to the one they are calling from and this may show as that of a firm of solicitors. This tactic is known as Payment Diversion Fraud in relation to conveyancing (this has been seen in victim reports to police via Action Fraud). Payment diversion fraud is sometimes also known as ‘Push Payment Fraud’ or ‘Authorised Push Payment Fraud’. Within Payment Diversion Fraud, criminals will pretend to be solicitors and ask for payments to be made to a bank account that they control, which can result in large losses for home buyers/sellers.
If house buyers/sellers receive a telephone call from their solicitor asking for bank details to which payments or transfers should be made, they should follow this advice:
- Wait five minutes and then call back (criminals will sometimes stay on the line once the person thinks they have hung up) or use a different phone to call back the solicitors firm directly on a trusted number, such as the phone number listed on their website. Check the details before making any payments or transfers.
- If in any doubt do not make the payment or transfer (criminals will often try and rush house buyers/sellers by saying it is urgent or must be done immediately)
For further information on fraud and how to prevent it, please visit:
If in doubt, contact us at Frodshams Solicitors on 01744 626 600 or email email@example.com