Buying a home is a huge undertaking and there are all sorts of pitfalls to avoid – which is why having a qualified and professional Surrey solicitors on your side is an absolute must, to ensure that the process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
But there’s something that you should always be on your guard against, even with the very best solicitor’s firm behind you, and that’s conveyancing fraud.
In scams of this kind, fraudsters will hack into emails being sent back and forth between conveyancers and homebuyers, in a bid to try and steal the funds being transferred for the property in question.
These hackers will wait until completion day nears and then they’ll send a fake email to the buyer that looks as though it’s come from their conveyancer with different bank details for where to send deposits.
Writing for What Mortgage, director of strategy at the Council for Licensed Conveyancers Stephen Ward explained that the conveyancing process is especially vulnerable because of the type of transaction that’s being carried out – a one-off sizeable one.
Unfortunately from the buyer’s perspective, because they’ve been tricked into authorising a payment the bank has to act on instruction and the victim is liable. These are known as authorised push payments, which can be made via email or over the phone or in person.
The good news, however, is that you can take steps to safeguard your money. The majority of conveyancing firms out there do engage with clients to make sure that finances and data are properly protected – and they may even insist that bank details are only sent by post, with clients instructed to ignore phone calls and emails about last-minute changes.
Mr Ward advised prospective housebuyers to look out for spelling and grammar errors in emails, requests for personal information, a sense of urgency in the tone of the message, or the email failing to use your proper name and instead using something like ‘dear customer’.
Selling or buying a house is the biggest transaction that most of us will ever make and it can be a tricky process to navigate, even if you’ve done it all before. But our efficient service here at Gumersalls will make the experience as easy to understand and stress-free as possible.
We can provide the legal service you require, whether you’re buying or selling a free or leasehold house or flat, need assistance with obtaining a mortgage or advice on your right to buy from a private landlord or your local council or housing association.
We work with agents and surveyors to ensure a smooth transition right through to completion. Our experienced solicitors can advise you on any commercial property issue, so get in touch with us today to find out more.