Don't be an April Fool!

The following information and guidance has been prepared in association with the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

As our Client, we want to ensure that your conveyancing transaction is as safe, secure and successful as possible.

Unfortunately, in recent years home-buyers, sellers and their solicitors have been increasingly targeted by criminals with scams which have left home-buyers at risk. 

Given the sums involved in conveyancing transactions, clients can be hit particularly hard by transfer scams which result in the loss of significant sums of money. 

Transfer scams are where the borrower transfers the deposit of the house they are buying to their solicitor but the money is intercepted and stolen by a fraudster.

Law firms are actively engaging with clients to ensure that their data and monies are well protected.  It is important that all parties involved are aware of the potential risks and that you take practical steps to ensure that your funds remain safe and the conveyancing transaction progresses smoothly. 

Remember: scammers are also targeting members of the public who are involved in litigation and divorce cases where settlement funds are being transferred.  It is strongly recommended that you read the information provided and share it with your family and friends.  The security of your deposit and your money depends on it!


Be Aware 


As your solicitors we will never: 

  1. Change our bank account details during the course of a transaction. 
  2. Email you a change in bank details particularly at the last moment. 
  3. Ask that you send your bank details to us or any other organisation by email.


Be Alert


It is important that you:

  1. Remain extremely vigilant at all times and ensure caution when responding to any requests for your bank details. Do not phone a telephone number you are unsure of.  It could be the scammer!
  2. Always verify the telephone number before calling. 
  3. Check and recheck with all parties involved. 
  4. Contact us directly by telephone using the number provided in your Client Care letter to verify any unusual request. 
  5. Update the security and anti-virus software on your computer.
  6. Look for any suspicious activity on your email account.


Be Responsible


You must take preventative actions to avoid becoming the victim of fraudsters and scammers.  

...and Remember:

Never

  • Never accept a last minute change of bank account details by email! 
  • Never send your bank account details by email or by phone! 
  • Never click on a link to confirm your bank details. 
  • Do not trust such emails, even if they look genuine.   
  • Never give any personal information (name, address email or phone number) to organisations or people.  before verifying their credentials! 


Always 

  • Always check with the 3rd party by way of an agreed telephone number or by face to face.
  • Always check with the 3rd party by way of an agreed telephone number or by face to face.
  • Always telephone your bank using the phone number on a genuine piece of correspondence, website or the phone book to check if you’re not sure.
  • Always check who they are, who they work for, and most importantly verify their credentials!

For more information about this article, or any other aspect of our business and personal legal solutions, get in touch and remember: Call, Check and Confirm.

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Call, Check and Confirm

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