SRA Risk Outlook warns Conveyancing funds are a common target of Email Modification Fraud

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have warned that ‘email modification fraud’ often targets conveyancing funds in their Risk Outlook Spring Update.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) have warned that ‘email modification fraud’ often targets conveyancing funds in their Risk Outlook Spring Update.

Updated earlier this month, the SRA’s Risk Outlook provides a comprehensive insight into the key risks that conveyancers are exposed to – namely posed by fraudsters.

Whilst cybercrime is a risk which legal professionals are likely to be familiar with, its importance should not be underestimated. Instead, as highlighted by the SRA’s Chief Executive, Paul Philip, it is an issue which conveyancers should constantly be alert to.

‘…Challenges such as keeping information safe, cybercrime and compliance with anti-money laundering regulations do not go away and need your constant attention.’

A priority risk

Recently updated in the Outlook is the priority risks section; setting out for legal service providers where the SRA are focussing their attention and the issues which are of most importance.

The one most commonly associated with conveyancing and perhaps the most significant to the profession is the protection of client money – something which is becoming an increasingly difficult task for firms.

‘Friday Afternoon Fraud’

The methods that fraudsters use are continually evolving.

No longer is it just a case of a criminal masquerading as a client, they’re now taking on the identity of firms – a threat which every firm is at risk of. Anyone can send an email directly to your customers, suppliers or employees pretending to be you, potentially resulting in irreparable reputational as well as financial damage.

In order to ensure that transactions are properly protected, it’s essential that checks are applied on a wide-scale basis and prevention strategies are taken seriously, especially at a time when the risk of fraud is at an all-time high.

A common target

60% of all cyber crimes reported to the SRA are email modification frauds, with their recent Risk Outlook Spring Update citing conveyancing firms as a common target.

The continued prominence of email modification fraud in the legal sector is clear – now is time for firms to take preventative action.

Setting out to help protect firms against the growing risk of fraud, Lawyer Checker are launching OnDMARC, a web-based service which enables professionals to effectively safeguard their email against cyber threats.

With email being the most significant risk for firms, can you afford not to implement a solution that safeguards you from…

  • Liability for loss of client funds
  • CEO/Friday Afternoon Fraud
  • A criminal effectively impersonating you to clients, suppliers or any other third party

Lawyer Checker is inviting professionals to attend an exclusive free webinar on 30 April, providing an overview of DMARC and how it combats email impersonation and spoofing.

Delivered by Lawyer Checker’s own Victoria Cope, this webinar will provide a key insight into the service, explaining how it goes beyond the protective remit of other tools in its operation as well as how it works for firms on a practical level.

Spaces are limited, so make sure you don’t miss out – reserve your place here.