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Don’t trust caller ID on phones – Spoofing and why picking the right conveyancing firm matters



Phone number “spoofing”

When fraudsters change their caller ID to disguise their identity, this is known as phone number spoofing. They use software so that when you receive a phone call, the number you can see is different from the one the fraudster is calling from.

And they can choose any number so the number may show as a firm of solicitors or your bank.

Next, Payment Diversion Fraud is attempted with the fraudster pretending to be your solicitor and they ask for payments to be made to a bank account that they control, which can result in large losses.

Ofcom describes number spoofing as “people who deliberately change the telephone number and the name that is relayed as the Caller ID information” and therefore says “caller ID should not be used as a means of verifying a caller’s identification”.

The problem is worldwide but, in the UK, the necessary system upgrade has a target date only of the end 2025 which is when the communication industry will be able to stop number spoofing.

Until then we will remain at risk.

Your house move is often a very busy time, which means house buyers/sellers may be more susceptible to falling victim to Payment Diversion Fraud.

How to protect yourself


We will never telephone you telling you that our bank details have changed.

So, when dealing with us you won’t have this to worry about!

The National Economic Crime Centre (NECC) advice regarding phone number spoofing is:

If house buyers/sellers receive a telephone call from their solicitor, in which they are provided bank details to which payments or transfers should be made, they should follow this advice:

  • wait 5 minutes (criminals will sometimes stay on the line once the person thinks they have hung up) or use a different phone;
  • call back the solicitors’ firm on a trusted number, such as the phone number listed on their website, to check the details before making any payments or transfers;
  • if any doubt do not make the payment or transfer (criminals will often try and rush house buyers/sellers by saying it is urgent or must be done immediately)

Frightening isn’t it…

If you want to feel safer why not instruct us on your conveyancing?  If your current solicitor is going to phone you with their bank details, are they really protecting you?

We will never telephone you telling you that our bank details have changed.

Please call 0151 480 5777 to speak to one of our team.

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