When you are buying a house, there are some potential dangers that you may not be aware of – such as email scams. In a recent article, the Guardian Money highlighted the high volume of people who have been conned out of huge sums of money by email scams.
The Guardian went on to list the things that seem to come up repeatedly:
“They involve people who have employed a legitimate solicitor/builder/accountant etc., with whom they are in email correspondence.
Typically, the victim receives a request for payment via email, which doesn’t arouse suspicion because they were expecting it. It usually looks authentic and is for the correct amount – but behind the scenes the email account of either the victim or the business has been hacked, and the bank account number and sort code are the crook’s.”
How can you safeguard against fraudsters?
• Be suspicious of all emails even if you are expecting the email, especially if:
-they send you an invoice or payment request
-you have not previously made a payment to them
-you have paid them before but they have changed their bank details.
• Phone the company or person directly:
-do not use the phone number listed in the email – fraudsters can change this – instead, call the number on the companies legitimate website or from the number you have obtained from the company in person.
-check that they have asked for the money and confirm that the bank details provided in the email are correct.
• With large sums of money, send a small amount first. Check that the right person has received it and then pay the balance.
To read the full story on “Friday afternoon fraud”, head to the Guardian website here.