12 Oct 2014

Email scam targets NZ lawyers

9:05 am on 12 October 2014

New Zealand lawyers are being targeted in an email scam by fraudsters who claim to be moving to New Zealand and want to buy property.

The Law Society's financial assurance manager, Jeremy Kennerley, said the email asked lawyers to hold a client's purchase money before they arrived in the country.

He said it was likely the fraudster would send a fake cheque, which would bounce after the money had been transferred to another account.

Mr Kennerley said he did not know of any lawyers who had been caught out by the scam, but that did not stop the scammers trying their luck.

"Buying property here, whether it's the deposit they're talking about or the full balance for settlement, it's not going to be cheap these days. It's a significant amount of New Zealand dollars that's moving so it's worth them having a go at a number of customers, I guess."

Mr Kennerley said lawyers who responded to the email have been sent false passports as identification.

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