Why You Might Want to Check All Solicitors Involved Are Genuine When Buying a Property

You and Yours has reported a case where a couple when buying a flat lost £175,000 when one of the solicitors involved turned out to be a fake.

Their own solicitor was genuine but the solicitor used in the flat sale was not.  As soon as he had their money he disappeared without a trace.

Often fake solicitors will impersonate a genuine one, in order to increase their credibility.  Here are a few suggestions to help you avoid becoming a victim of this kind of fraud:

  • Find out the names & firms of all solicitors in the chain (or check out your own solicitor and then get them to check the rest).
  • Check they are listed on the Law Society website.
  • Contact the firm using their published details, e.g. from their website.  Do not use any contact details you were given: these could be fake.
  • Watch out for anything that does not look right, e.g. poor spelling or grammar.

A new online system, Veyo, launching this spring promises to make the buying & selling process easier and safer.

The Solicitors Regulation Authority also has a page dedicated to this subject.