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Solicitors are failing to warn clients about the risks of using email during property transactions, despite explicit guidelines from anti-fraud authorities and their own trade body, the Solicitors' Regulation Authority.

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Lee Munson, security researcher at says:“While I feel great pity for anyone who has fallen prey to any kind of fraud, and understand the reasoning behind it may be a lack of knowledge, it really doesn’t seem fair to lay the blame at the feet of the solicitor in this case.

“Sure, warning messages on emails may prove useful in a minority of cases, but let’s be honest here – the majority of people do not read the small print on any kind of communication, including legal documents.

“Thus, it is down to individuals to educate themselves on the risks of doing anything that involves a computing device, most notably where emails are concerned, and especially where large sums of money are directly involved.

“Staying alert and watching out for names, email addresses or bank account numbers that change over time will protect most people from this type of ruse, as will confirming details with the solicitor, over the phone, prior to transferring any funds.”