A couple has lost their future home and more than £200,000 to fraudsters after receiving an email claiming to offer new bank account details for their conveyancer.
The Telegraph state that Andrew Doyle and Susan Paul had requested their conveyancers TCS send bank details to be sent by email rather than post. After several phone calls an email appearing to be from TCS arrived with an attached, unencrypted pdf file containing the bank details with Mr Doyle arranging the payment on the Thursday before the Easter weekend.
However by Wednesday it emerged that the money had been paid into a fraudulent account. Mr Doyle’s bank, Lloyds, says it is investigating.
Mr Doyle, 52, told The Telegraph: “We are absolutely devastated. We’ve no money and no house.
“I know that if it was me, I would put the house on the market again, as there is no guarantee we are going to see any of our money again.
One likely scenario is fraudsters gained access to Mr Doyle’s email account, deleted the first email from TCS before it was read before replicating it with their own bank details.
Emma Coffey, Business Development Manager at Blacks Connect said: “Here at Blacks Solicitors we take Cyber Crime very seriously. It is made clear to all our clients that we are all at significant risk posed by cyber fraud, specifically affecting email accounts and bank account details. ‘PLEASE NOTE that our bank account details WILL NOT change during the course of a transaction, and we will NOT change our bank details via email. Please be careful to check account details with us in person’
“We all have to remain vigilant to any type of fraud and be wary that fraudster will find new ways to attempt to defraud clients we need to be on our toes to stay ahead.”
Today’s Conveyancer has approached TCS for comment.