Important information regarding cybercrime. It has come to our attention that computer hackers are seeking to target property transactions to access funds. As we understand it, they will either hack a phone, tablet, or PC, maybe by sending out a random email that mistakenly gets opened, or even whilst opening a website, which gives them access to that machine.
The reason for us mentioning this is to you is to alert you that once they have gained access, they can monitor email correspondence, without you knowing, throughout a transaction. Then, at a relevant point, e.g. just before the exchange of contracts, they can send an email to a client mirroring that of their solicitor asking for funds to be transferred to a certain bank account. That money then, of course, disappears.
Fortunately, we have not had such an instance but, feel it important to highlight the fact that if you do receive an email requesting funds, it is worth double-checking with the person concerned by phone that it is genuine and the bank details are correct, before sending money. This could, of course, affect other areas of finance beyond property. Many solicitors are starting to highlight this point now, but for safety, we would urge you to be vigilant and check before sending money or passing on any personal details regarding any bank or credit card information.
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