The rise of cyber-criminal threat for law firms since Covid-19

The global coronavirus pandemic, and the rise in people working from home, has unfortunately provoked a growth in cyber-crime. The UK Government estimates that the cost of cyber-crime is £27bn per annum. The legal sector handles sensitive data and large financial transactions, which makes it an attractive target for cyber criminals, who are constantly looking […]

Ransomware attacks up by 518% in the last year

Cybercriminals are becoming more aggressive, a recent report reveals. The report shows that cybercrime gangs are using even more sophisticated ransomware to extort millions from firms across the UK. The average ransomware demand has also increased by 518% from $847,000 in 2020, to around $5.3 million in 2021, with the highest single demand sitting at […]

UK bank account fraud 25% up year on year

New research from Experian has revealed that bank account fraud is now tracking at its highest level for more than three years. Drawing on the latest data from the National Hunter Fraud Prevention Service, the analysis uncovered an alarming surge in fraudulent activity targeting British businesses and consumers. The fraud rate for current accounts rose […]

HMRC expected to resume pre-pandemic levels of SDLT investigations

The number of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) tax investigations by HMRC has fallen by 75% in the last year, from 2,096 in 2019/20 to 529 in 2020/21, the lowest figure in five years, a Freedom of Information request from law firm Boodle Hatfield reveals. The drop in investigations is thought to be due to […]

Charges removed from properties of illegal money lender victims

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has obtained a High Court Order to remove hundreds of HM Land Registry charges, notices and restrictions registered against consumers’ properties by illegal money lender Dharam Prakash Gopee. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has successfully obtained a High Court Order to remove approximately 625 charges, notices or restrictions registered in […]

Digital ID Trust Scheme on trial in 11 locations

Estate agents, licensed conveyancers, solicitors and mortgage intermediaries operating in Battersea, Chiswick, Clapham, Putney, Wimbledon, Richmond, Kew, Cheltenham, Gloucester, Harrogate and York are to be the first to benefit this year from trials of a new digital identity trust scheme to make home buying and selling a quicker and more secure digital process. These geographical […]

How digital onboarding can give your firm competitive advantage

In today’s world of e-commerce and online banking, consumers expect instant access to services in a safe and secure environment. In the legal industry, meeting the needs and expectations of clients is key in an evolving, challenging and competitive legal environment. Unrivalled client experience differentiates law firms from competitors and added value will give fee […]

Fraud and computer misuse crimes rise by more than a third

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) Crime Survey for England and Wales showed that there were an estimated 4.6 million fraud offences in the year ending March 2021, a 24% increase compared with 2020 figures. The survey also  revealed that fraud and computer misuse offences have risen by more than a third in England and […]

Law firms in SRA firing line over AML failures

The fines levied by the SRA on 13 firms in recent weeks continue to demonstrate a fundamental lack of understanding around responsibilities when it comes to the money laundering regulations. The firms in question had failed to comply with their procedural responsibilities to provide their firm-wide AML risk assessment and delayed their AML declarations. In […]

Technical Corner: Here Comes the Sun!

Our ‘Technical Corner’ brings you information that will help you to continue to grow and develop in your career. This month’s technical corner article comes from Amy Bell, Director at Teal Compliance If you have any questions for our panel of experts, please submit them using the contact form below. We will publish the questions […]

Single digital ID a step closer

The government have published plans designed to enable the production of a single digital identity for everyone, for the purposes of providing ID verification for activities such as buying alcohol through to purchasing a home. A consultation will seek input on three key questions the governance system to oversee digital identity and and make sure […]

Mitigating the Risk of Cyber Fraud

Conveyancers are a prime target for cyber criminals as they regularly deal with such significant sums of money.  Between March 2020 and March 2021, the SRA reported 147% increase in cyber attacks on law firms when comparing the first 3 months of 2020 to the first three months of 2021.  The repercussions of cyber attackers […]

Free Fraud and Cyber-Crime Prevention Webinar

poweredbypie, a Dye & Durham company working together with Lawyer Checker, is inviting conveyancers to a free fraud and cyber-crime prevention webinar to be held on 22 July 2021 at 11am.  For further information or to register please see: Tom Lyes Director of Engagement, Lawyer Checker confirms: “Cyber-crime is a growing issue for conveyancers […]

Solicitors fined over failure to prevent £3.3m conveyancing fraud

Two directors of the firm Mayland Porter have been fined £10,000 and £5,001 respectively, after failing to adequately oversee the activities of a bogus solicitor alleged to have carried out £3.3m in property fraud. The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) fined Darren Fazackerley and Meenan Goyal in relation to conveyancing frauds taking place in the London […]

Firms fined for AML failures

New requirement for an independent AML audit from the regulators

The Solicitors Regulation Authority has fined six firms as it continues to clamp down on anti-money laundering non-compliance. The firms were fined £800 and ordered to pay costs of £600 after they took over a year to demonstrate they had taken steps to comply with new regulations introduced in 2020. The fine follows previous sanctions, […]

Stamp Duty is on holiday, Money Laundering is not

Stamp Duty is on holiday, Money Laundering is not

This article has been written by Nikki Shorto a newly qualified CLC Licensed Conveyancer based in Bournemouth, Dorset. We are all experiencing the pull of the never-ending volume of work to do at the moment, and doing our best to line up as many completions as we can to help our clients enjoy a Stamp […]

Conveyancers beware as data stolen from listed law firm

Cyber crime hit the headlines again last week as listed city firm Gateley reported client data had been stolen during an attack on its IT network. A statement to the London Stock Exchange on 16th June confirmed that the firm was managing an incident in which its IT system had been breached and client data […]

Property professionals invited to try new ‘Safe Harbour’ ID Check for free

tmgroup, the leading provider of property searches and data, are excited to announce that they can now support their clients in meeting HM Land Registry’s Digital ID Standard (Safe Harbour) – thanks to their partnership with Thirdfort and the launch of a new ID check, which incorporates Government-grade security. Try the new Thirdfort Standard ID […]

Cyber Security spend on the rise as it becomes more important than ever

Cyber Security spend on the rise as it becomes more important than ever

Since the pandemic and the rise of people working from home, cyber criminals have had to adapt to their new environment prior to launching a cyber attack. The UK Government estimates that the cost of cyber crime is £27bn a year. The latest data released in the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report shows that organisations are […]

Would the Digital ID framework alter the way fraudsters behave?

Would the Digital ID framework alter the way fraudsters behave?

The home buying and selling process will always be a lucrative prize for fraudsters because their pay out is huge. It seems to be a frequent occurrence in the news that a fraudster has made off with a buyer’s money, with a recent example of two homeowners picking up the pieces after losing £800,000 following […]