Lawyer Checker Calls for Vigilance Following Dramatic Rise in Cyber Security Scam Alerts

Lawyer Checker, a Dye and Durham solution, monitors SRA scam alerts and over the past 12 months we can reveal there has been a 27% increase overall, in scam alerts when comparing 2021 to 2020.

Tom Durbin St George, MD UK & Ireland, Dye & Durham explains: “The repercussions of cyber fraud can be devastating for the client and law firm.  Awareness of the scale of the issue, understanding the threats and how to mitigate them are the first steps towards increased security, so all law firms can work towards improving and updating everyday processes in line with the dramatically increasing threat.”

Emily Haskey, Operations Manager at Lawyer Checker added: “We monitor SRA scam alerts and have analysed the data over the past 12 months and can now reveal there has been a 27% increase overall, in scam alerts when comparing 2021 to 2020.     

“Conveyancing firms are being targeted due to the large sums of money transferred on the completion of property purchases, and changes in working practices due to COVID have offered new opportunities for cyber criminals quick to take advantage of any vulnerabilities.  We know that one of the main risks is criminals impersonating other law firms to divert the funds transacted on a property. According to the latest SRA data, in 2021, 91% of all scam alerts relate to some sort of impersonation.

“Criminals can even intercept phone calls, redirect and replace postal communication.  Email also represents an increasing threat with 48% of all 2021 alerts related to fraudulent email activity compared with 21% in 2020.  It’s easy to miss the slight alteration of a single digit in a sender’s email address and suddenly a conveyancer has been supplied with a fraudster’s bank account details instead of the law firm they believed they were working with. 

“Although nothing is 100% guaranteed, defence strategies can be put in place to safeguard every transaction.  For example: Lawyer Checker validates the destination details of the recipient bank account of the solicitor receiving funds for every property transaction quickly and easily.  It’s a secure web-based solution that can be accessed from any location 24/7 at the click of a mouse, supplying an audit trail for law firms as well as ensuring due diligence by adhering to the SRA Code of Conduct for Solicitors (SCCS) 4.2 - to safeguard client money and assets.


“Proven over more than ten years, Lawyer Checker’s unique algorithm checks details against ten different databases in real time.  It checks SRA scam alerts and safeguards transactions against human error and typos while also providing the most up to date information.

“Included in the report are two searches: one which is usually completed at the start of the conveyancing process, plus a further check just before the funds are transferred, uniquely ensuring there have been no changes during the course of the conveyance.  This is essential with transaction times now taking longer and ensures the search is fully updated, making it easy and cost effective to mitigate risk of fraud during the transaction.

“The remote revolution has changed the nature of the working environment and it has added a further element of risk.  Now the legal sector must put cyber security high on the agenda for every property transaction and conveyancers need to be proactive in addressing the risk of cyber-attack.  Lawyer Checker can help mitigate risk by ensuring funds are safely directed to the correct conveyancer’s bank account.”

Lawyer Checker has recently been highly commended for the best anti-fraud service at the Mortgage Gazette Awards 2022.