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We would like to draw your attention to some recent information shared by the Santander Mortgage Team regarding criminals impersonating Solicitors to fraudulently obtain funds.
It has been noticed that some high-value examples of an already well-known scam have recently occurred, and it is suspected that these have continued as sales have soared.
Criminals are researching property sales in order to identify the buyer and the Solicitor managing the sale. Once they have found the information they need, they set up email accounts that are very similar to the genuine Solicitors managing the sale.
From a glance, emails from these accounts appear to be genuine but they often have an extra letter, missing letter or a punctuation mark in the email address. It is vital that you always check the full address on any email you have received and ensure it matches any correspondence you have already received from your Solicitor.
You can check the full email address for any of our Team here.
The criminal then communicates with the buyer, usually through this false email account, and provides false invoices and requests payment to be made to a false bank account.
Please note, in some examples, the criminals have also called the buyer directly, purporting to be from the Solicitors firm - so it is important to be cautious with both emails and phone calls.
We urge all of our clients to be extra vigilant during these times. We have set out a few pointers to help you identify authentic emails from the Nowell Meller Team:
- Nowell Meller never sends emails asking you to alter our bank details.
- Our genuine bank details are included in the body of our client care letter and will match those on our invoices.
- If we send bank details to you, they will be attached as a PDF and never given within the body of an email. The PDF will always match the information in the client care letter.
- We ask that any clients who are sending funds to us also call our accounts team at the relevant office to verify our bank details.
If you have any concerns, please call our offices directly and speak to a member of our Accounts Team.
Stafford 01785 252377
Alsager 01270 446260
Newcastle 01782 987551
Stoke 01782 813315
Information source: Santander Mortgage Team