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Did you know scammers can steal your settlement money?

Don’t let scammers steal your settlement money.  Hacking email accounts, sending bogus bills payment details, getting people to disclose their personal details are just some methods scammers use to target property transaction proceeds.

In Queensland, we saw property sales rise by 42.5% in the September 2021 Quarter according to PEXA. Unfortunately, so did the number of scammers aiming to steal your settlement money.  Scammers are genius’ when it comes finding a way to steal your funds.  Secure Exchange gives 5 frightening examples of property proceeds scammers intercepting emails, changing deposit details and making off with more than $1 Million dollars.

With 320 people selling their properties in Yeppoon this year, and a total of 59,410 homes selling in the September 2021 quarter, that’s a lot of opportunities to steal your hard-earned money.  Scammers and cyber frauders have many tactics to target you. Here’s just 5 of the superpowers scammers use when they’re stealing settlement funds:

5 ways scammers steal settlement funds

  1. Impeccable Timing – they wait for busy times’ of year. End of financial year, end of the calendar year, holiday times, record numbers of transactions being processed and then they strike.  They love deadlines and know you’ll be eager to settle.
  2. Masters of Distraction – they look for busy people with no time to check details. Details like: BSB’s, Account Numbers, Biller Codes and Reference numbers.
  3. Artistic Genius – they create detailed artwork for bills and invoices that look exactly like your normal bills and change the payment details.
  4. Technical know-how – they create email addresses and accounts that use legitimate company details.
  5. Posing power – they know how to pretend to be you.

Cam Schroder Lawyers Director Leonie Davey says her practice has seen a rise in the scams and cyber attacks at their legal practice.

“We have secure processes in place to combat the scams and cyber-attack attempts we’re seeing more and more of in our firm.

“Scammers are clever they look for opportunities.  Banks that close for lunch, new employees, distracted employees. If you’re not on the ball, carefully checking details, the scammers can find a way to take the funds.

“We make sure we review our computer security regularly with Capconnect, we verify the identity of all our clients, we conduct regular staff training.  This is on top of all of our regular conveyancing checks like Trust Account Authorities and Cost Authorities,”

“We are hyper vigilant when it comes to cyber security, we can’t afford not to be,” Leonie Davey says.

Neither can you.  There are a few simple ways that you can avoid falling victim to a scam:

4 things you can do to avoid being scammed

  1. Phone your solicitor – Confirm trust account and other bank details received by email over the phone. Get on the phone and confirm BSBs, Account Numbers, Biller Codes and Reference Numbers.
  2. Leave links alone – If you receive a suspicious email with links to click on, Don’t Do it!
  3. Be alert – be careful when sharing any personal or financial information for your property transaction.
  4. Verify your identity – Reputable solicitors, banks, real estates will complete verification of identity before they start and work with you.

According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Scammers trying to steal your bank account and credit card details rose by 75% in 2020.  On top of that false billing and phishing scams more than tripled to $18 million from 2019.

Don’t let scammers steal your settlement money, be alert but not alarmed, as the saying goes. Make sure you confirm your identity and complete all your checks and balances.  Then you can make sure moving into your new home is smooth sailing and you can sleep soundly at night.

To organise your secure property settlement, including a free review of your property’s contract,

Call Leonie Davey from Cam Schroder Lawyers on 07 4925 0229 to book your confidential appointment today. 

 

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