Fraudsters are becoming increasingly savvy to the interception of a buyer/seller’s property transactions. Fraudsters currently use malware which searches for key words in a client’s email, such as; ‘house’ ‘purchase’ ‘deposit’ ‘payment’ ‘transfer’ and then they make their move.
If fraudsters can get their malware to monitor your e-mail chain with your solicitor, they can then intercept these e-mails and pose as your solicitor. The fraudster will tell you that your solicitors’ bank account details have changed and ask for funds to be transferred to a ‘new’ account, which is completely false.
If funds are sent by you to the fraudster’s account, recovery of this money would be very unlikely as it will be deemed as an authorised transaction by your bank.
Maitland Walker advises our clients to:
- Be alert to any suspicious e-mails, particularly where it is suggested that bank account details have changed, you should always call the firm to check that the details are correct.
- At no time use the telephone number incorporated within a suspicious e-mail to check the details.
- Never use public Wi-Fi to check e-mails where house purchases / sales are being made, as public Wi-Fi systems are easily hacked.
- Avoid posting about an upcoming house purchase or sale on public social media as fraudsters can get hold of this information and target you, knowing a large financial transaction is imminent.