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A Laptop with the screen on, showing code in green and red and white text, with the silhouette of a person with their hood covering their face behind the text; our Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster discuss Conveyancing fraud, and how we take steps to prevent it.
Our conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster are unfortunately frequently seeing news articles regarding the scary outcomes of conveyancing fraud, and how easily fraud can occur. In one news story, a man returned home from a trip abroad to find that somebody else was living in his house when he returned. They had unknowingly been the victim of identity fraud, by somebody who had impersonated the man and sold his properly while he was completely unaware. 
As with most Conveyancing Solicitors, we see first-hand how clients are- understandably- concerned about fraud occurring during the process of buying or selling their property, or indeed, right from underneath their noses once they own their house. 

Fixed-fee Conveyancing Solicitors

MG Legal's leading Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster offer all of our Conveyancing services on a clear, fixed-fee rate.  
Our team put your first, and work with care to ensure that your wishes are met. Call us today on a free, no-obligation basis at: 01524 581 306. 
Get in touch today to speak to our Conveyancing Solicitors in Lancaster. 

What steps do Conveyancing Solicitors take to reduce the chances of fraud? 

When purchasing or selling a property, Conveyancing Solicitors must check your identity, by way of Identification Documents. Usually, documents such as an official Government-issued document, such as a Passport or Full UK Driving Licence, will be provided, along with proof of your residence, such as a utility bill, bank statement or council tax bill, which generally needs to be dated within the last three months. You can read our full article on ID required when purchasing a property, here. 
The mandatory ID checks that are in place in the conveyancing process as a way to avoid fraud can actually make clients feel more concerned about the prospect of conveyancing fraud, should their ID and personal details get into the wrong hands. It is because of this that it is important to work with a reliable, specialist conveyancing solicitor who takes all possible measures to ensure the safety of your information, both physical documents and information shared by email. 
A further check carried out is known as an AML check, short for Anti-Money Laundering, which is an electronic check carried out through a third-party provider, to check a person’s identity in accordance with AML legislation. This check looks at whether a person’s data can be verified by their electoral roll data and credit report, although it’s important to note that we do not obtain a copy of the credit report, the check simply looks at whether the data matches. 
In addition to ID and AML checks, where possible, our Conveyancing Solicitors will meet with clients face-to-face, to discuss their transaction. 
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Dreamvar conveyancing fraud case: 

The Dreamvar case is one of the most well-known cases of identity fraud in the conveyancing world. In the case, the conveyancing solicitors acting on behalf of the buyers of a property that was fraudulently sold were found to be liable for the losses of their client, in a hearing by the Court of Appeal in 2018. 
This landmark case essentially set a precedent going forward, which meant that conveyancing solicitors were effectively the guarantors in conveyancing transactions, and that it was their responsibility to ensure that the transaction is genuine. In the hearing, it was revealed that the money for the transaction was lost, with the buyers suing the imposter’s conveyancing solicitor and estate agent, while the buyers also sued their own solicitor. Both cases against the imposter’s solicitors and estate agent failed, while the buyer’s solicitors were found liable for their breach of trust in paying out the money and were ordered to pay £1 million. 
One insightful passage from the hearing came from the High Court, in saying that 'It is common ground that (the buyer’s solicitor) is insured for events such as this, and that its insurance cover is sufficient to cover in full the loss suffered, should it not be excused from liability. In terms of balancing the relative effects or consequences of the breach of trust, it is apparent that they (with or without insurance) are far better able to meet or absorb it than Dreamvar (the buyer themselves)’
This case was a tricky one regarding liability, with the court left to answer who, among several innocent victims of the imposter’s fraud, should bear the loss? Essentially, the conveyancing solicitors were the ones to bear the repercussions in this case, as the Court felt they could withstand the liability more than the other parties. 

Avoiding conveyancing fraud 

It is because of cases such as those mentioned above that our conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster and other office locations, and indeed, conveyancing solicitors up and down the country, have such strict measures in place regarding to checking the identity of clients, and taking all possible measures to avoid conveying fraud. 
In order to help our clients with this, our conveyancing solicitors always ensure regular communication with our clients about what we need from them, what we will be asking from them, and when we will be asking for it. Trust us when we say, that we will not proceed with a matter, until we are truly comfortable with the identity of all parties to the conveyancing transaction. 
We are always on hand at the other end of the phone, or in our offices, to speak clients through a conveyancing process, or carry it out face to face, so that our clients feel as comfortable and safe as possible throughout the conveyancing process. Our team also have a number of systems and checks they have in place to prevent scams or cybercrime, which we are always happy to discuss with potential clients before we are instructed to help with their conveyancing matter. 

Contact our leading conveyancing solicitors 

Our leading conveyancing solicitors in Lancaster go above and beyond to ensure that all necessary steps are taken to prevent conveyancing fraud of any kind to our clients. If you are looking for a reliable, friendly conveyancing solicitor to guide you through the process of buying or selling property step-by-step, and who will be on-hand at any time to answer any questions or concerns that you might have, then look no further than MG Legal’s conveyancing solicitors. 
To instruct our CQS-accredited, SRA-regulated, Conveyancing Solicitors, who are experts in AML procedures and identity checks, contact our team on 01524 581 306 or email 
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