Vital Information When It Comes to Conveyancing Fraud
Conveyancing is the term for a house’s legal title being transferred between two people. Deal terms will be fixed at this stage; contract exchanges then occur. Afterwards, the legal title is officially passed, and the process is officially complete.
Needless to say, conveyancers are people that execute this.
A conveyancer makes sure that your property transaction’s legal obligations are met on time and in full. Exactly what their scope of work is depends on the transaction’s twists and turns. No matter what, though, from start to finish, they make sure your rights are well-protected.
Given the high amounts of money and sensitive information that is exchanged, it’s particularly important to stay protected against conveyancing fraud.
What Is Conveyancing Fraud?
Conveyancing fraud occurs when a transaction is intentionally misrepresented, or a third party is introduced during the process that is not authorised to be involved. It’s usually accompanied by at least one of these:
- A default on the loan is reported
- A price drop is falsely reported
- A transaction takes longer than expected
- Details of the property are misrepresented
- Legal documents are purposely forged
- Property is not what was advertised
- The price is inflated
- The property has a misleading address
- The property is misrepresented by association
- The property is misrepresented by location
- The property isn’t legally owned by the seller
- The property isn’t legally transferred
Classic cases involve the interception of the likes of e-mails. Cybercriminals pretend to be the conveyancing solicitor, as if they had been the ones talking the whole time. They then request fees such as completion monies, the deposit and others and have them redirected to their bank account.
By the time the trick is uncovered, the fake solicitor has vanished.
How Is a Conveyancing Scam Best Detected?
Since e-mail is the usual avenue for scammers, be extra vigilant of your e-mail.
Go through the fine print
Taking a critical eye to every single e-mail is necessary. Fraudulent e-mails tend to have grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Question anything remotely suspicious; safe is always better than sorry. Even well-written e-mails could turn out to be a problem.
Sender’s e-mail address is different from what’s on the solicitor’s website
Make sure to check the e-mail address every single time. It can be tempting to just skim over e-mails and take something “official”-looking at face value. When a recipient is unsure, crosscheck it with the website of the solicitor. Be wary that e-mail addresses can be spoofed in this day and age. This is especially true if you have been corresponding on an email trail and suddenly a new email thread starts.
Sudden burst of urgency and requests to transfer funds immediately
If the e-mails suddenly become frequent or seem to change tones, take a second look. A sudden desire for more personal information without a clear explanation or unfamiliar bank details are all red flags. When there’s a sudden pressing demand for funds, something’s wrong.
Conveyancing is the transfer of a house from one person to another legally. Conveyancing fraud, on the other hand, is a transaction that ends up with misrepresentation. It’s best detected through paying close attention to e-mails. By keeping in mind everything we’ve mentioned here, you can protect yourself from conveyancing fraud.