Quarter of adults have shared sensitive personal information on email when moving home

A quarter of UK adults have shared their sensitive personal information, such as bank details and address, via email with a conveyancer, estate agent or mortgage broker when moving home, according to new research from client compliance platform Thirdfort. 

The survey of 2,097 UK adults conducted by YouGov also shows that 49% of adults are concerned about using email to share sensitive information with their property professionals, in light of growing fraud risks. Despite this, just 31% have used secured online methods to share information with their property professionals – 13% have used two-factor authentication, and 18% have used a secure platform or app.

In addition, 34% have resorted to delivering information in person (e.g. into the office) to their estate agent, conveyancer, or mortgage broker to safeguard their personal information. Fraud continues to be one of the most prevalent UK crimes, with email interception fraud a growing issue. Losses due to authorised push payment scams were £239.3 million in the first six months of 2023, according to UK Finance. Nearly four-fifths of authorised push payment fraud cases reportedly start online, and 18% start via telecommunications. Data from Action Fraud, the national fraud and cybercrime reporting service, shows that from August 2022 to July 2023, there were 18,011 reports of social media and email hacking.

Thirdfort has re-developed its Secure share tool to make it easier to safely exchange personal information and AML screening during property transactions. Usually, buyers and sellers are asked to provide the same identity and anti-money laundering details numerous times. Secure share enables estate agents, conveyancers, and mortgage brokers to share these reports safely. The feature avoids repeated, unsafe data exchanges through email and needless repetition for homebuyers.

Thirdfort is the first to offer this secure report sharing, aligning with the Government’s Digital Identity and Attributes Trust Framework, and ensuring client information stays protected on its platform. Using Secure share, property professionals can now offer simple and secure ID and AML report sharing for their clients and other professional advisors involved. Olly Thornton-Berry, co-founder and managing director at Thirdfort, said:

“Our data shows that despite being concerned about the fraud risks, many homebuyers are still sharing personal information over email. This leaves them open to fraud. Yet there are more secure ways of sharing data online, and agents and conveyancers must offer homebuyers access to these secure methods.

Not only does our Secure share platform reduce the risk of fraud, it tackles needless repetition, significantly cuts transaction times, helps agents and brokers to easily refer clients, and provides a great client experience. All while keeping personal data secure and meeting all regulatory requirements.”

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