Crimestoppers is working with estate agencies and financial advisers as well as conveyancers in a bid to eliminate house buyers’ deposits being stolen.
The charity claims buyers are losing an average £45,000 each day through what it calls money redirection fraud; it says that by the time anyone has detected suspicious activity, the money has been withdrawn or transferred abroad, leaving the buyer out of pocket.
Now the charity is working with the Safe Buyer Scheme, which involves using a bank account verification tool that allows purchasers to confirm that the bank details provided by their conveyancer are genuine, prior to a deposit being transferred.
One agent using the scheme is Becky Howes of Lovelle Estate Agents, a 19-branch firm in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire.
“I want to help raise awareness of fraud and to be seen to be actively helping make buying a home a safer experience for our customers. We are promoting our work with the Safe Buyer Scheme on our website so our visitors can learn about this fraud and how to prevent it happening to them” she says.
Rodger Holden, director of business development at Crimestoppers, says redirection fraud has a devastating impact on buyers.
“Proactive fraud prevention through industry engagement is one of our key strategic objectives and we are encouraging conveyancers, estate agents and financial advisers to make use of our partnership with the Safe Buyer Scheme as it provides effective tools that are proven to protect conveyancers and their clients from fraud” he says.
“The Crimestoppers name is very well regarded and is synonymous with crime safety so we hope home buyers will see our logo and think about checking their conveyancer’s bank account details through the scheme.”
Personalised bank details certificates bearing the Crimestoppers’ logo are available for every conveyancer registered on the Safe Buyer Scheme to send to their clients during the conveyancing process. The certificate template can be downloaded by logging in to the Safe Buyer Scheme website here.