The Conveyancing Association have launched a new Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol in an effort to better equip conveyancers in avoiding becoming victims of crime.
The Cyber Safe Scheme is intended to give firms practical information on how criminals operate and the measures they and their staff can take.
The scheme also gives firms a customer leaflet detailing how they can avoid being a victim of this fraud, the conveyancing firm’s bank account details, how to set up secure communications with the firm, plus details of a range of measures to ensure the customer is ‘Cyber Safe’.
The CA say they are urging their member firms to follow the Protocol and achieve accreditation as soon as possible, They also say that ny achieving the accreditation and adopting the Cyber Safe Standard, its members can mitigate much of the risk that criminals using unsophisticated techniques present.
Once they have been independently verified as having reached the standard, firms will be allowed to apply to use the “Cyber Safe” logo on their literature and website.
Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association, said: “The launch of the CA’s Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol is the culmination of a number of months’ work, and the input of a large number of member firms, our Affiliate partners, lenders and expert consultants, and Government agencies.
“We have recognised the growing number of attempts at fraudulent activity in the conveyancing process and we wanted to provide our members with a set of standards which they can achieve in order to help them in the fight against this fraud. From vishing and smishing to social engineering, the Protocol offers our members a common-sense approach to cyber security and a valuable training tool for their conveyancing teams.
“By following the Protocol, completing the Cyber Essentials standards, and ensuring they are ‘Cyber Safe’ the chances of this type of fraud being successful are far less and it goes a long way to ensuring fewer customers have to go through the terrible ordeal of losing vast sums of money plus the potential purchase of their new home.
“In following the Protocol firms are not just committing to a good level of protection for their organisation and their clients now, but will be able to maintain a continuous review of risk. Our Cyber Committee will update the Protocol at regular intervals to ensure it is kept up to date with developments in criminal activity and prevention, and we will continue to update our members on the products and services coming on to the market which will help protect them and their clients.
“Those firms committing to the Cyber Safe Scheme will also be able to provide each customer with a ‘Client Warning’ factsheet which details the risks, plus the measures they can take in order to mitigate against them. It would also include the firm’s Bank Account details so that if the customer were ever contacted to suggest a change, they can check against this and take the appropriate action.
“The CA is absolutely committed to ensuring our members meet the highest standards when it comes to both cyberfraud and fraud prevention. Criminals are increasingly looking at the conveyancing process as a means to defraud firms and customers and we would urge everyone to be vigilant and to increase their protection levels plus make sure that security levels are at their highest, communication channels are fully monitored and that money transfers are checked and double-checked. It will take the whole industry working together to drive cyber fraud out of the home moving process.”