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Conveyancing fraud alert

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MAY 2017

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The Lloyds Banking Group is warning conveyancing firms to be aware of fraudsters targeting them at busy times for completions.

What is the phone scam? - A fraudster will call a firm and purport to be phoning from their Bank’s Fraud Department. They may use various reasons for calling but often they say they need to check suspected fraudulent payments, or suspicious online log-in activity. Having usually carried out research before the call, the fraudster will attempt to convince the firm’s employee that they are a genuine Bank employee by quoting details such as client names or actual payments the firm have made. They might even use spoofing technology to make the incoming caller display show a genuine bank phone number. The fraudster’s aim will be to get the firms employee to divulge passwords or payment security codes which are only normally used to log –in and make online banking payments. They will say they need this information to stop fraudulent payments or unblock an account, but in fact they will use the credentials divulged to actually make fraudulent payments from the firm’s accounts.

What is the email scam?  - Fraudsters hack into and monitor email messages sent between conveyancing firms and clients at a point when bank account details are being agreed for deposits and completion payments.  At the point where fraudsters detect that a deposit is about to be paid by the buyer, or a completion payment is about to be made from one conveyancer to another, they send a fake email asking for the payment to be made to an alternative bank account.  They make the email look genuine by sending it from an email account which is either identical to or very similar to that of the genuine conveyancer, buyer or seller due to receive the payment.  If the buyer or the conveyancer making the payment doesn’t realise that the changes to beneficiary account details are fraudulent, any funds lost by sending payment to the fraudsters account are likely to be their liability.

Registered office: 61 Friar Gate, Derby, Derbyshire, DE1 1DJ

Adrian Mooy & Co is the trading name of Adrian Mooy & Co Ltd.  Registered in England No. 05770414

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