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Could your clients be receiving fake emails from you? This article explains the need to speak to your clients about email fraud.

Much has been written recently about the need to speak to clients to authenticate email instructions about transferring money to client accounts. But if the client receives a fake email from your firm directing them to pay money into a bank account of the fraudster, will they know to check if it is fake?

ABC News recently reported that a hacker defrauded one purchaser of real estate in South Australia and attempted to defraud another out of $900,000 by posing as their real estate agent. The hacker apparently monitored the transactions before sending the purchasers emails purportedly from their real estate agent containing instructions to pay money into a conveyancer’s trust account. The purchasers then transferred the money into what was in fact the hacker’s account.

One of the transactions was cancelled by National Australia Bank, saving the purchaser $400,000. Further details can be found here.

To avoid these type of frauds firms should have a policy of not emailing payment details and tell the client about that policy at the start of every matter. Alternatively, tell clients that if they receive an email from the firm containing payment details, they should call the firm to verify.