• VRT Lawyers

Former NRL Player’s Money Scammed During Conveyancing Transaction

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

The Daily Telegraph recently reported the story of former rugby league legend Ben Elias being scammed $860,000 during a conveyancing transaction.

It was reported that his “lawyer” prior to a settlement requested by email that Elias transfers the large sum to the firms trust account. The problem was the email wasn’t really by Elias’ lawyer; it was from a scammer and Elias is yet to recover the money.

“Unfortunately, these types of scams have been around for some time. The scammers have been targeting solicitors and accountants, posing as client’s real professionals and sending emails which look like they are sending real emails from the firm but in reality the bank account details are not the firm’s bank account,”  Joe Vizzone, Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Property Law Partner


Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyers Conveyancer, Sandra Vizzone explains that VRT Lawyers have a number of policies and procedures that mitigate and prevent such situations arising.

“Firstly, we have had for almost for a decade now a firm policy that we will never finalise settlement sums over email. It is our policy that all such transactions are verified over the telephone. In such circumstances we would call you to confirm such arrangements.”

“Further, conveyancing is moving more into the online space. For many this may sound more dangerous but in reality PEXA, the online conveyancing platform, provides a secure and safe environment which prevents situations like this case arising,” Sandra explains.

“With such a transaction, money is transferred into the secure zone, and will only be released once all documents for settlement are uploaded and verified. This creates somewhat of a secure, holding area for money and settlement documents, rather than money transferring along multiple accounts which increases the risk of money going missing.”

“The online PEXA conveyancing system, in our experience so far, eliminates much of the fraud which has been prevalent pre-online conveyancing.”

Buying or selling? Vizzone Ruggero Twigg Lawyers will ensure that your transaction is conducted in a safe and secure manner. Contact us today on 9667 1271 or law@vrtlawyers.com.au

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