Whilst it’s been a year of ups and downs, one thing seems to be certain for 2017 – risk is not going away.
Whether it’s starting a virtual war on Twitter or finally giving in to a festive bargain email, the risk of falling victim to something seems to be growing – and that goes for law firms too.
Throughout the year, we’ve seen an alarmingly high number of conveyancing fraud cases hit the headlines. Whilst the facts will usually be roughly the same, the extent of the loss – and the devastating impact on the consumer – will vary.
The amount of money and the level of stress involved in a conveyancing transaction is likely to be significant, hence why they’re a tempting target for criminals. Reduced awareness, increased vulnerability and potentially high rewards are just what the fraudster is looking for.
A series of unfortunate events
Usually in the midst of email correspondence, the keen buyer or solicitor will receive a message allegedly from the other side. Purporting to be a legitimate party, the email will request a change of bank details and to ensure that funds are transferred to this new account. Rather than from the client or conveyancer though, the email will be from a fraudster.
Whilst many would like to think they would query this questionable correspondence, others wouldn’t – and that’s not surprising. As awareness around fraud grows, criminals are refining their techniques, with emails becoming more believable and interception becoming more sophisticated.
Stress, lack of time, and eagerness to complete also play a part, meaning that even the most vigilant professional could be duped, putting client money at risk with just a single click.
Why prevention is protection
It’s important to educate consumers on warning signs to look out for, but staff are ultimately the first line of defence. This is why it’s essential that they know the relevant steps to take to prevent an attack, as well as what to do should one occur.
Where risk prevention is concerned, consistency is key. Not only does this encourage a positive culture with a firm, but it also reduces uncertainty and ensures that employees are highly alert to the risk.
Providing firms with market-leading risk management solutions, Lawyer Checker can provide firms with an effective prevention strategy.
By using Lawyer Checker’s comprehensive system, professionals are able to gather further information on the firm they’re sending money to or client that they’re dealing with. A proactive tool for firms, this enables them to better assess the risks associated with a transaction and help them to better protect client funds.
Do you know who’s on the other side of the transaction? Click the link below to find out how Lawyer Checker could help protect your clients’ money in 2018.