Recent research has indicated that identity fraud increased at record levels during the first half of 2017.
According to fraud prevention service Cifas, 89,000 cases of identity fraud were recorded during the six months to June this year, with over three-quarters occurring online.
Whilst awareness of identity fraud is increasing, this does not reduce the likelihood of it occurring. Rather, if these figures indicate anything, its frequency is growing, with the techniques used by fraudsters becoming increasingly sophisticated.
With correspondence increasingly occurring online, criminals are taking advantage of vulnerabilities in law firm processes, with some managing to get away with thousands of pounds worth of client money.
Protection of client money was highlighted as a priority risk in the Solicitors Regulation Authority Risk Outlook 2017/18, which drew attention to the risks that firms need to be alert to.
With a spotlight on recent trends, the SRA mentioned the growing vulnerability of conveyancing funds, especially in regard to email modification fraud. To ensure that transactions are properly protected, it’s vital that checks are applied on a wide-scale basis and prevention strategies are taken seriously.
Highlighting the high proportion of cybercrimes which are email modification fraud (60%), the SRA advises considering the use of Lawyer Checker to verify that the bank details of a third-party firm are genuine.
As well as mitigating the risk of fraud, the use of a service such as Lawyer Checker can positively influence the culture within a firm, increasing the awareness of risk.
At a time when the threat of fraud is growing, solicitors need to ensure that their compliance policies will effectively mitigate the risk – click here to find out how Lawyer Checker can help to protect your client’s money.