The number of deposit redirection frauds in March 2016 was more than triple those in March 2015 according to statistics from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau.
The increase in fraud far and away outstrips the increase in transactions, with 77% more transactions in March 2016 compared with March 2015 according to HMRC.
In all, Action Fraud recorded 28 incidences of “Buyer Deposit Redirection Fraud” for March. Over 186 recorded cases since 2013, £19,080,670 has been lost to criminals, meaning the average loss per victim is £102,584.
According to the Law Society, there have been incidents of firms that have fallen victim having their professional indemnity insurance premiums raised on renewal.
Paul Crilly, Account Director at Howdens Insurance Brokers said: “Those firms which can demonstrate that they are going above and beyond their counterparts, when it comes to managing risk are likely to find it easier to secure competitively priced PI insurance and should, over time, see a reduction in PI notifications.
“Fraud remains one of the PI insurers biggest concerns so we applaud the introduction of schemes such as the Safe Move Scheme which enhance a firms approach to risk management and protect the insurers position”.
Ed Powell, Director of BE Consultancy the company behind the Safe Move Scheme, said: “We have introduced a new indicator on all Safe Move Scheme transactions to show the conveyancer whether their client has accepted or declined the risk management advice given to them via the Safe Move Scheme. Every client decision is recorded on the Safe Move Scheme for firms’ future reference if they need evidence at a later date that their duty of care was discharged.”