Over the last several months scammers have been breaking
into the trust accounts of real estate agents and conveyancing businesses.
These scammers are becoming more sophisticated with their messaging in an
attempt to trick people and organisations out of money. No longer are we being
targeted by unsolicited Nigerian emails asking us to deposit large sums of
money into our bank accounts but scammers are posing as legitimate
customers/clients and you cannot tell the difference between a genuine email
and one from a scammer. So ultimately with this new scam, it’s not us who is
out of money but our clients who have worked hard and saved up enough money to
The latest round of scams usually appears as an inquiry from
our website. Fortunately, the emails are easy to spot. The wording is very
similar in all the messages and we are now able to spot a dodgy message quite
If you are unsure if you are receiving a scam email you can
always respond and ask the person to call your office for an accurate quote.
Otherwise don’t engage as they will continue the charade until you are asked to
follow a link to the alleged contract which requires you enter your email
address and password. You should never under any circumstances provide your
email address and password to an external link. If you do provide this
information the scammers will take control of your email address. Then they
will sit and wait (while monitoring your emails) until you send a client trust
account details for a deposit. Once you have done this they will send your
client an email (from your email address) telling them different trust account
details. The client will then unsuspectingly transfer their money into the
A note to buyers: Always confirm your law firm or real
estate agent trust account details over the phone (particularly if you get an
email telling you the details have changed) before transferring any money.
A note to business owners: It is advisable not to let your
staff know their email passwords so they don’t fall into this trap. The only
way to foil these scammers is to stop falling for their tricks.
ever give out your email password anywhere online.
confirm via telephone your law firm/real estate agents trust account details.
smart about the type of emails you receive. Make note of any patterns in the
not engage the scammers.
No one wants to lose their hard-earned money. Be smart about
your online activities and you should be safe. If you do have any concerns
about emails you receive while conducting your property purchase or sale always
talk directly to your solicitor/conveyancer or your real estate agent.
article is for information purposes only and is not legal advice. Always
consult a professional before making any decisions. Monkey Conveyancing makes
no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on our
blog or found by following any link(s) included therein.