Call, Check and Confirm: Sending money safely to your solicitor
In recent years homebuyers, sellers and their solicitors have been increasingly targeted by criminals with scams which have left homebuyers 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 or conveyancer – but the money is intercepted and stolen by a fraudster. Solicitor firms, including Thomas Taggart & Sons, are actively engaging with clients to ensure that their data and money 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. The following information and guidance has been prepared in association with the Law Society of Northern Ireland and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
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!
As your solicitor firm 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.
It is important that you:
1. Remain extremely vigilant at all times and ensure caution when responding to any requests for your bank details.
2. Do not phone a telephone number you are unsure of. It could be the scammer! 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 writing by us 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.
You must take preventative actions to avoid becoming the victim of fraudsters and scammers. Our contact and bank details will be posted to your home address as soon as you instruct us. These details WILL NOT change unless agreed with you in person. It is important that we have your most up-to-date contact and bank details.