Consumers protected during house-buying process by new anti-fraud measures
Anti-fraud measures have been introduced by the Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC) to help protect consumers from online scams.
From 1st November it was compulsory for conveyancers, licensed by the CLC, to display a secure badge on their website which helps consumers to identify genuine firms and significantly reduces the risk of impersonation online through cloned or copied websites
The secure badge, which is created through a unique piece of code, allows consumers to identify that a firm is genuine. Further information about the firm can be found by clicking on the badge, which should be prominently displayed on their website, and links through to the CLC’s website.
In recent years conveyancers have become the subject of fraudulent schemes which have left homebuyers at risk and out of pocket. Given the sums involved in conveyancing transactions, consumers have been hit particularly hard by this type of fraud. The number of deposit redirection frauds in March 2016 was more than triple those in March 2015, according to statistics from the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, and this number is continuing to rise.
Stephen Ward, Director of Strategy, CLC says that:
“The scheme was introduced in January as a means to protect consumers from online fraud and to also identify fraudsters setting up fake firms claiming to be regulated by the CLC. Over 90% of the firms that we regulate have complied with the deadline and installed the secure badge on their websites.
“The badge empowers consumers to know that the firm they are dealing with is genuine and not fake by allowing them to click through to our site. Our system scans the web for attempts to copy the secure badge.”
Consumers can find information about looking out for the badge through the CLC website.
Kindly shared by Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)