Be alert to fake solicitor emails when buying a house

Are you or someone you know in the process of buying a house? Be cautious when electronically transferring funds for deposits, conveyancing work and so on.

What has happened

A member of the public reported to the police that they have lost a substantial amount of money after getting such an email.

Criminals cloned an email from a solicitor, with the instruction to send the deposit to a specified account number. This later turned out to be unconnected to the legal firm.

An investigation is underway.

What you should do

If you receive such an email, check it carefully, paying attention to spelling and grammar. Poor grammar can be an indication that the email is not genuine.

Check the sender’s email address. It is unlikely that solicitors will use email providers such as hotmail or gmail for their professional work.

If you are expecting communication from your legal representatives, follow up and confirm details with them either by phone or in person and ideally using an alternative phone. They will not mind doing so, as they are acting in your best interests.

Report any scam to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.

Delete any suspicious email and block the sender from contacting you again.

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