Buying or selling a property? How safe is your money?

Posted on: April 20th, 2016

With fraud amongst conveyancing transactions on the rise it is essential for you to know that the money sent from bank to bank during your sale and purchase is secure and will not end up in the hands of a criminal. You need to be safe in the knowledge that the firm of solicitors handling your transaction is carrying out thorough checks before any funds are changing hands.

And it is not just the funds which are sent between solicitors offices which are at risk. Fraudsters are intercepting emails sent from clients to their solicitor. When a solicitor requests bank details from their client, they request that this be in writing and, with email being today’s preferred method for the majority of clients, this information is emailed in readiness for net proceeds of sale funds or any surplus funds from purchases to be sent in readiness for the day of completion. The emails are identical to the ones which the client has sent previously and even appear to come from the client’s email address. This makes it extremely difficult to spot any wrongdoing. Fraudsters are intercepting these emails and changing the bank details before it reaches the solicitor. If follow up checks are not carried out by the solicitor funds can then end up in the bank of the fraudster and may never be traced again.

Similarly, when a solicitor requests funds from a client these requests are more often than not sent by email with bank details being attached.

Imagine your solicitor not receiving the funds for your house purchase or the proceeds of a sale of your property being sent to someone other than you. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

With the above in mind, here at Coffin Mew we know how stressful moving home can be without the added stress of funds going astray. The high level of service which we provide to our clients is of paramount importance and we want to ensure that your sale and purchase completes as smoothly as possible.

We have procedures in place to ensure that your money is well protected. We always telephone third parties (including other solicitor/conveyancing practices and estate agents) and all of our clients before sending funds, to ensure that the information we have received matches exactly to the bank details provided to us previously. This procedure is then checked by our own finance department before they authorise the release of any monies.

Conveyancing fraud is a very serious issue and one which at Coffin Mew we are striving to combat and to always stay one step ahead of the game.