Conveyancers urged to check validity of law firms as bogus firms double over last 4 years
SearchFlow comments on SRA’s finding that more than 700 bogus firms were reported in both 2014 and 2015, a figure that has doubled since 2012.
Some 46% of all reports of bogus firms received this year involved the identity theft of a law firm or solicitor with a view to targeting the public into sending money or information.
Greg Bryce, managing director of SearchFlow, comments: “The figures released by the SRA serve as another stark reminder of the growing risk of fraud that the legal sector is exposed to.
“SearchFlow is committed to offering world class solutions to protect conveyancers against the threat of fraud. Working with both lenders and law firms to provide the most effective solution to help reduce the risk, our clients, at no additional cost, can benefit from using Lender Exchange, a unique secure web portal that enables users to check the validity of not only a law firm but the account details of the law firm acting on the other side of the transaction.
“This initiative that has been driven by lenders’ desire to reduce risk and verify the law firms on their panels and has made great progress recently.
“The industry is now making great strides in helping combat fraud within the conveyancing sector. However, the challenges are changing rapidly and require constant vigilance. Often the weakest link in cybersecurity is the person using the PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone and there is a growing need for the industry to work together to educate not only professionals but homebuyers on best practices to stay safe online.”
Lender Exchange offers access to the largest set of verified conveyancing firms in England and Wales, equating to over 95% of the active conveyancing market and therefore offering the most comprehensive check on solicitor’s details in the market.
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