With the increased use of online services across all areas of our lives, cybersecurity is extremely important. Particularly in conveyancing transactions where large amounts of money are transferred between accounts.
Email phishing is of particular concern and requires that we all be extra vigilant in dealing with email communications. Phishing is where a criminal impersonates an organisation in order to steal or alter important information.
For example, let’s say you have a property purchase coming up and have been liaising with your solicitor via email. Your email may have already been hacked without your knowledge and the hackers have been tracking those emails. Your solicitor sends you an email outlining their trust account details for deposit of settlement funds. This email is intercepted by the hackers who change the bank account details. The email then continues to you with the hacker’s account details and you subsequently transfer the funds to the hacker’s account. The funds are never received into the solicitor’s trust account and the panic sinks in. Goodbye money.
In the above example, the end result could have been avoided by telephoning your solicitor to verify their trust account details. This account verification process can be applied to all instances where account details are received via email. Importantly, you should check the telephone number within the email to ensure this also hasn’t been changed by the hacker. You want to ensure you contact the person you have been liaising with to confirm any bank account details rather than the hacker.
As hackers become increasingly sophisticated, it is important that we are all cyber vigilant. Caution is better than catastrophe!
At Everingham Solomons we take cybersecurity seriously because Helping You is Our Business.
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