During the last year, the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority reported that £12 million of client money has been taken by fraudsters.
Protection of client funds was one of the key trends highlighted in the recent SRA Risk Outlook, which stressed that this is one of the basic duties of a legal professional.
Reporting on trends witnessed, the Outlook highlights that despite the fall in misappropriated client money, the risk is still prominent, with an average of 43 being reports being received each quarter. Conveyancing is noted as a key targeted area, namely involving email modification from a scammer, who will then impersonate one of the parties. The SRA references a significant number of instances where the fraudster has masqueraded as the solicitor in requesting the modification of bank details.
This could go some way to explaining the recommendation of considering to use services such as Lawyer Checker when transferring client monies.