Protecting Yourself from Scams When Transferring Money To Your Lawyer

Posted on 26/07/2018 by Smith and Partners

Internet scammers and hackers are getting more and more sophisticated, and harder and harder for even the most technology savvy to identify. Recently the Herald produced an article highlighting some of the risks involved when transferring large sums of money – particularly when dealing with lawyers and real estate agents.

Lawyers and Real Estate agents are considered trusted parties when you are transferring money to them, the risk lies in situations where an internet scammer or hacker intercepts communications going between you and that trusted third party.

Example: Purchasing a Property
If a scammer has hacked your personal email account, they will be able to monitor the emails that are being sent to you and they will be able to work out that you are likely to be transferring a large sum of money to a third party (such as a lawyer or real estate agent) as part of your property purchase.

Before we have a chance to send you the correct details, the scammer would send a “spoof” email that looked like it was from us, saying to transfer the deposit amount into a certain account number. The scammer would make the account number their account number instead of the account number of your lawyer (or real estate agent).

Our security
You can rest assured that Smith and Partners is very committed to cyber security, with significant investment in ongoing upgrades, maintenance, expert support, and training for our staff.

While we believe that we are safely securing your personal data and information, we can’t prevent a scammer from hacking your personal accounts, or faking (known as spoofing) an email to look like it came from us.

Call us before you transfer any money
Before you transfer large sums to us – whether for payment of an invoice, or into our trust account as part of payment for the purchase of property or other large transaction, we recommend that you call us directly and confirm that the account number you are transferring the money to is the correct number.

When phoning us to confirm the account number, we recommend that you use a phone number sourced from our website rather than a phone number included in an email.

Be careful whenever you transfer large sums to anyone
This issue is not restricted to lawyers or real estate agents – any industry can be affected. Any time you are transferring large sums of money it pays to double check that you have the correct information before you make the transfer.


If you ever have any questions regarding how we keep your information secure, or how to ensure you’re transferring money to the correct account, please feel free to contact us by phone on 09 836 0939