A simple example of how scammers are opportunistically using the increased presence of technology in real estate transactions to their gain. Unfortunately - transactions involving property mean that large losses are involved and could financially destroy a purchaser who has been scammed.
With online conveyancing expected to become the norm, it is important to ensure the appropriate controls and verifications are in place to protect trusting individuals who are simply looking for guidance through a daunting and unfamiliar process.
When large sums are involved - it's well worth the extra step to verify details before the ok is given for funds to be transferred.
Two South Australian property buyers have been defrauded out of nearly $1 million by scammers using bogus email details to pose as conveyancers. The Australian Institute of Conveyancers said it was unsure how the client information was accessed, but the scam is being investigated and has been referred to police. The institute's South Australian CEO Rebecca Hayes said the scammers sent fake emails to conveyancers' clients last week with instructions to send large sums of money for their property settlements. "The cyber scammers are intercepting emails and changing the bank account details that go to the client," she said. "The client then pays money into what they believe is the conveyancer's trust account but unfortunately it's an account owned and operated by the cyber criminal and the money goes there and unfortunately disappears."