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Be very careful with those property purchase inquiries

09 February 2018

New Zealand lawyers are often sent emails which ask for their assistance in purchasing property. While these will often be genuine inquiries, the email can also be the first step in a sinister attempt to hack into the lawyer's IT system and steal money.

A response from the lawyer will usually result in the fraudster emailing either a PDF which contains a link (do not click on the link) or a link which is protected and personalised for a specific firm member with the requirement of entering their email address and password. If this happens the fraudsters will then be able to monitor the firm member’s email account and look for information about property settlements and required payments.

The following email is an example of the many different approaches which are made by fraudsters.

From: michael fowler [mailto:michaelfowler90@outlook.com]
Subject: inquiry

Good day,

For some time now i have been in search of a property to acquire and  luckily i have found the right property i wish to buy.  As a new investor in the property business i need a competent conveyancing representative who can guide and assist me through the unfamiliar  conveyancing process.

I came across your organization profile as a professional in conveyancing and other legal matters and as a business man I understand how important it is to provide the best possible service to my customers, having the right product and providing a first class service is the key to ensuring that customers return for repeat business.

I will appreciate if i can get a quotation and a more knowledge about your conveyancing process and as well as terms and condition so we can commence as soon as possible.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind Regards
Michael Fowler

Last updated on the 9th February 2018