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Criminals are actively targeting property home movers, to trick people into transferring over their deposit funds and the balance of monies to them.

The Law Society of England and Wales has joined forces with the National Economic Crime Centre (NECC), which is housed within the National Crime Agency, and Action Fraud, to warn home buyers of the risk of payment diversion fraud.

Criminals are actively targeting property purchases, to trick people into transferring over their deposit funds and/or the balance of purchase monies to them. "The frauds almost always involve the criminals pretending to be the victim’s lawyer to con them into diverting their payment to an account the criminal's control" said Law Society president I. Stephanie Boyce.

“These frauds can involve huge sums of money and have a devastating lifelong impact on the home buyer and their personal finances. Solicitors and their clients can all play a part in making such crimes more difficult for the criminals.” Jon Shilland, fraud threat lead at the NECC, said “Payment diversion fraud is increasing and it is vital to be alive to the threat as criminals are targeting home-buyers due to the scale of the transactions. “Whenever a client is making a payment to their solicitor for a house purchase, they should be highly suspicious of any change in account details or new instructions"

Don't be a victim of Deposit Fraud

Let's look at how to protect yourself from becoming a victim of conveyancing fraud.

If you have had dealings with Ocean Property Lawyers or Ocean Lettings accounts team by email you may have noticed this permanent message within their signatures -

PLEASE NOTE that conveyancing transactions carry a significant risk of cyber fraud and we take this very seriously indeed. A common fraud involves incorrect bank details being emailed to clients.  We will NEVER change our bank details via email.  For your protection, we ask you please to ring us to check our account details before sending us money. 

Property transactions carry significant risk of cyber fraud. A common fraud involves incorrect bank details being emailed to clients. We will never change our bank details via email. For your protection please ensure you call Ocean Lettings and Management to confirm account details prior to transferring monies. We cannot accept responsibility if monies are transfered to an incorrect account. For further guidance & advice please click here.

If you suspect you have been the victim of conveyancing fraud you should immediately - contact your bank to advise them of the fraudulent activity, asking them to contact the receiving bank to freeze the funds. Alert your lawyer; it may be that they are being targeted by criminals, who may pose a risk to other customers. Contact Action Fraud; report suspected fraud to Action Fraud through - click here - reporting-fraud-and-cyber-crime or by calling 0300 123 2040

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If you would like to discuss any aspect of this subject do not hesitate to contact us, we will be happy to help.