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Conveyancing and Cyber Security

Conveyancing and Cyber Security
Emine Birant Apr 25,2022
blog post

Your property is probably the most valuable asset you own, so when buying, selling or re-mortgaging, you need to make sure that your transaction is safe to protect yourself against the risk of fraud. 

With the growing threat of cyber attacksand fraud, we at TP Legal Ltd are committed to doing all we can to assist in helping keep our clients safe.      

GUIDANCE FOR YOU 

  • We will provide you with our bank details in our letter of engagement at the outset of your transaction.    We will not link you directly to our internet banking log on pageor to a page that asks for any security or personal details. If you receive bank details by email, please call our mainline number 01483751878 to verify these.    

  • We always carry out identity and address checks on ournew and existing clients. More information on the process can be found on our website (https://www.tplegal-ltd.com/identity-and-address-checks ). 

  • When making payments to us, it can often be a good idea to transfer a small payment first to test our account details then call us to ensure it has arrived safely, before sending a large sum to us  

  • Do not send your bank details by email or by phone. Please bring your bank details in person to our office or send the details to your conveyancerin the post. 

  • TP Legal Ltd is registered with the Law Society and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and we are listed on both websites should you wish to check. 

  • We always check that solicitors on the other side of a transaction are genuine by checking they are registered on the Law Society website. We also carry out an electronic search called “Lawyer Checker” on all purchase transactions, prior to completion to verify the identity of the seller’s conveyancer and their firm.   This additional check provides additional protection for you and your money.     

  • We will never apply pressure to push you to proceed quickly or send you urgent warning messages. Unfortunately fraudsters have been known to use this tactic. 

 

HOW TO REDUCE THE RISKS OF FRAUD 

Please consider the following tips to be cyber safe and help reduce the risk of falling victim to fraud in your conveyancing transaction:-  

  • When using social media, be cautious as to how much you ‘share’ with people and refrain from posting any information in relation to the progress of your transaction;   

  • Ensure your virus and malware protection is up to date on the device(s) you use to communicate with your conveyancer regarding your transaction;  

  • Never use public Wi-Fi to access sensitive accounts, always do it securely from your home; 

  • Do not respond to emails or text messages from unknown or unexpected sources. Be mindful of officiallooking emails and texts as these too can be false; 

  • Be aware of clicking on links in emails or opening documents from people you do not know or from whom you were not expecting an email; 

  • Double check the email address. Many fraudsters register email addresses that look very similar to a real business to try and defraud you 

  • Ensure you use complex passwords for your online accounts and email. Never use the same password for more than one account 

  • Where possible, switch on two-factor authentication which sends you a text code to your mobile phone to further authenticate you when you log in; 

  • Keep a record of all payment transactions you make;   

  • Be vigilant.  Do not disclose personal data where it seems to be an inappropriate request; 

  • Try to avoid allowing people to oversee or over hear your transactions or conversations; 

  • Documents containing your sensitive information, including statements and bills, should be destroyed or stored safely; 

  • If you are at all suspicious of an email received purporting to be from a legitimate business, do not call the telephone number in the email.  Look online for the business telephone number and call someone to confirm.   We will always be happy to hear from you if you are calling to confirm whether an email is genuine. 

If you are making a payment to us or receiving one, you should always assume that it is possible for a fraudulent transaction to occur.    If you make a payment without first checking the authenticity of the payment request or account details, we regret that we will not be liable for any losses that you suffer as a result. In such circumstances, you should contact your bank immediately. 

After your purchase has completed and been registered with HM Land Registry, we encourage every client to sign up to the Land Registry’s “Property Alert” service  This is a free service and the Land Registry notifies you of certain activities on the properties being monitored (such as any applications, searches, request for title documents etc). More information can be obtained on the following Land Registry website link  https://propertyalert.landregistry.gov.uk. 

  

This article is intended for information purposes only and not as a substitute for legal advice. TP Legal does not accept any responsibility for any decisions that you may make as a result of reading this article. Please contact the team at TP Legal on 01483 751878 if you would like specific legal advice in the light of the new regulations, and we will be happy to help.