A law firm has raised the possibility of estate agents advising home movers not to advertise the fact anywhere on social media.
Comveyancing company Dezrezlegal said that home movers who share their news on platforms such as Facebook are handing fraudsters a “golden ticket”.
Managing director Laura Liddell said: “Crooks scan social media to see who’s near to completing on a house, so they know who’s about to transfer a deposit.
“Next they email the buyer posing as their solicitor with fake details about where to transfer the money to.
“Everyone involved in the chain is left with a nightmare as a legal battle begins about how – and even if – that money can be claimed back.”
Conveyancing cybercrime has become more prevalent as fraudsters set up fake duplicate Facebook accounts that trick people into accepting friend requests.
Liddell said: “I received a Facebook request from my mum the other day. Unfortunately for the fraudsters I spotted it straight away because my mum’s already my Facebook friend and she’s always posting something.”
The Solicitors Regulation Authority said that half of all cybercrime involves theft of conveyancing funds through bogus emails – £7m was stolen this way last year.
Below – a typical example of someone sharing their home moving plans on Facebook.