What we have discovered

You might think that it is down to the buyer’s conveyancer to ensure that the deposit is paid into the right account but you would be wrong.

Buyers themselves need to make sure that they pay their deposit money into the right account. But how can you be sure?

We have taken a look at ways that consumers can protect themselves and we think the most effective way to prevent buyer deposit redirection fraud is to use an independent bank account validation service such as Safe Buyer from the Safe Buyer Scheme, which is proven to have successfully identified attempted frauds and stopped it in its tracks.

Further information about Safe Buyer

How it works – Safe Buyer allows buyers to confirm quickly and easily that the bank details provided by their conveyancer are genuine, providing security and peace of mind before they transfer their deposit over. It is available 24/7 online and takes seconds to check bank account details against a sizable database of conveyancers’ bank accounts which have been independently validated.

How much it costs to use

It costs a buyer £12 including VAT to use.

Mr. Hakash Tamang knows only too well how easy it can be to fall for this crime. He was in the process of buying a flat when he got the call from someone claiming to be his conveyancer. Thankfully, he used Safe Buyer to check them out before paying in any money.

“The fraudster was so convincing but I didn’t want to take anything for granted when there was so much money at stake,” he said. “I used the Safe Buyer Scheme, typed in the name of the solicitor’s firm and the account details I was given, waited a couple of seconds and it came back that they did not match. Without this service I could have lost my deposit and my flat.”

Another method of checking bank account details is to phone your conveyancer to confirm the details are correct, however there is no way of knowing who you are speaking to on the phone or knowing that the information that you are given over the phone is correct. For this reason, we think using an independent service such as the Safe Buyer Scheme is one of the safer options.

*The Safe Buyer scheme gives 12% from each Safe Buyer check to support Crimestoppers’ work to prevent crime and make our communities safer.