Grand theft in the playground?

My son is a seven-year-old football fanatic addicted to collecting football cards. Every week he works tirelessly on his homework and chores to scrape together enough money to waste on a one-pound packet. It contains seven cards of different players from across the premier league.

In a bid to secure his favourite player, David De Gea, my son has increased his jobs in order to improve his pocket money. He now vacuums the upstairs rooms in the house for an extra packet each week. He will also frequently flutter his eyelashes at my easily manipulated wife to improve his weekly haul.

Like most collectables, many cards are considered common. Some popular players are more difficult to obtain.  Unless of course the money you spend trickles into a flow. Since my son has chosen the volume option he, therefore, has many duplicate cards.

It seems as though there are a number of students at his school that follow the same futile philosophy when it comes to collecting.  They meet each break time to look at one another’s swaps in the hope of making deals.

The scene of the crime

My son had a number of coveted players and secured a swap with another student who had the highly sought-after David De Gea. Having negotiated the playground deal, which involved a number of cards exchanged for the single card, they completed the transaction. My son left with the one player he had wanted from the beginning of his collecting journey. Needless to say he was extremely happy.

A great injustice

However, when I picked him up, he was in tears. His teacher had found out that the older boy he made the deal with had stolen the card before making the swap. My son was forced to give the precious card back to the legitimate owner. So the fraudster had been apprehended, punished and forced to return the cards. However, my son insisted that there were still two cards missing. The school was unwilling to pursue the matter further. My son’s dream had been cruelly snatched from his fingertips and he was left with a net loss after the event.

Might we suffer the same fate, only on a far larger scale?

This incident drew direct parallels with an article I had read on the increase of cyber crime in the conveyancing and property market. Friday Fraudsters and cyber criminals have grown adept at scamming even the most knowledgeable people in the sector.

My son had made the innocent mistake of completing the transaction without carrying out his due diligence. I found it shocking to discover that buyers and conveyancers could also be guilty of the same. However, whereas my son lost thirty pence worth of collectable cards, a buyer could lose hundreds of thousands of pounds and be left with no home to move into.  A law firm could easily lose something more precious – its reputation.

A recent survey found that 82% of law firms were concerned about the increased threat of cyber crime in 2019.  60% admitted to a data or security breach in 2018 and over £11 million was stolen in 2017.

We don’t want so many small to medium sized law firms falling foul of cyber crime and the property fraudster, Lawyer Checker provides a range of services to protect the interests of clients, their money and the reputation of the law firm.

Lawyer Checker offers comprehensive onDMARC services that could actively block phishing attacks. This prevents fraudsters from impersonating people to try to manipulate staff. Similarly, our enhanced risk management through Enhanced Account Entity Screening of solicitors and Consumer Bank Account Checker services ensure that law firms can be incredibly confident that when they send funds they are going to the legitimate recipient.

Prevention is vastly preferable to cure

Even my son’s primary school have taken measures to ensure future fraud is prevented; football swaps have now been given a designated after school club so upsetting future fraud has been eradicated!

Cyber crime is very real and hope is not a strategy

If a serious data or financial breach occurs within your firm, the damage could be irrevocable. It is time to ensure that your firm’s business, clients and reputation are secure. Whilst my son has recovered from the fraud, he is still looking for his dream card. Make sure your firm does not leave your clients feeling similarly despondent.

Martin Parrin, Lawyer Checker 

Lawyer Checker are committed to helping you, your team and your firm offer the best protection to your clients and their money through enhanced risk management and increased due diligence when transmitting funds.

Lawyer Checker’s products help prevent this financial and reputational damage by safeguarding lawyers from threats such as Bogus Law firms, Friday Afternoon Fraud, email modification fraud, and email spoofing attacks.

Need some help? Drop us a note with your details