The Conveyancing Association has recently announced a revision of its Cyberfraud and Fraud Protocol. In line with the upcoming GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) coming into force at the end of May, it is positive to see the CA making some positive actions to improve fraud protection, and look after customer data.

Protocol updates

The latest version of this Fraud Protocol has been put together based on feedback from a number of stakeholders and organisations, including the National Cyber Security Centre. This has brought in the introduction of new safety measures concerning phishing, card payment & cheque fraud.

The protocol also covers key areas on how conveyancing firms can improve their general security. Adding a new layer of fraud protection for clients and stakeholders. These include: client identity, change of bank details, and cyber security.

Fletcher Longstaff always take client security importantly, which is why we even have an online bank details checker. This allows you to verify our bank details before transferring funds, reducing the risk of cyber-crime. As a general rule of thumb, we never directly ask for bank details, so please contact us if you are worried about suspicious activity.

New guidance

Following this update from the Conveyancing Association, they have also provided some guidance on how to look after client data. These precautions are something that we already follow at Fletcher Longstaff, but we wanted to let you know exactly how we look after you:

  1. Keeping cheque books and cards locked away
  2. Shredding all documents and cards before disposal
  3. Being extremely stringent when clarifying a client’s identity
  4. Using secure means of communication when confirming bank account changes
  5. Adhering to NCSC guidance on cyber security
  6. Ensuring insurance cover is up to date
  7. Having a documented recovery plan in the case of a malware attack
  8. Advising the firm’s regulators when funds have been redirected fraudulently

For added reassurance, Fletcher Longstaff are also members of the ‘Take Five‘ campaign led by Financial Fraud Action UK. So you can rest assured that we will take every action possible to protect you from financial fraud.

Beth Rudolf, Director of Delivery at the Conveyancing Association commented:

“The issue of fraudulent activity around property sales has been much in the headlines again recently. With the news that one individual lost close to £600k after being duped by a fraudster, purporting to be a solicitor via email communications. The level of loss in this case, and many others, is shocking. Our sympathies go out to those who have lost money to fraudsters.

“We know that the threat from fraudsters will not stop, and they are constantly coming up with new methods. Therefore firms have to be continually on their guard. By following our Protocol we believe they are covering off as many bases as possible. Ensuring they are doing all they can in the fight against fraud.”

GDPR preparations

So you may or may not be aware of an updated Data Protection regulation, coming into force on the 25th May 2018. This is a huge update of the 1998 Data Protection Act, and brings in huge fines for non-compliances and breaches. It is likely that you will start to see emails coming through from lots of companies who you are currently subscribed to, confirming that you still want to be on their mailing list. This is just one measure companies are taking.

Here at Fletcher Longstaff, we are in the process of reviewing our internal processes to ensure compliance. This includes:

  • Observing and reviewing how data is currently collected
  • Ensuring processing methods are prepared
  • Keeping records to illustrate continual compliance
  • Observe and review consent, as well as data protection notifications

We hope this has been useful, to show you the actions that we are taking to protect you from fraudulent activity. As well as making sure we are protecting your data, confirming to GDPR. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions.