From 1 October 2018, most Victorian property transactions that require a settlement will be required to be settled digitally via an online platform. Currently through an organisation called PEXA – PEXA stands for Property Exchange Australia and is the only Electronic Lodgement Network available.
For most of us it won’t have much of an impact on the process of settling or transferring of a property. The Entourage Conveyancing team have been using the system for a long time and are across all of the processes and requirements.
Something we did want to draw to your attention though is maintaining your digital security, particularly with respect to bank accounts and transferring money. There have been some quite high-profile cases recently over money being fraudulently obtained via sophisticated scams. Including Bensons Property Group and MasterChef contestant Dani Venn.
We asked our conveyancing and legal team to put together their top tips on protecting yourself from these kind of digital frauds:
1. Always verify any email containing bank account details.
You should NOT transfer funds to any third party without first obtaining verification of the correct bank account details. Especially for large amounts. Had the team from Bensons jumped on the phone they could have avoided the loss of nearly $1M. We always require verbal confirmation of any request for payment as a fail-safe for any email request for money transfers.
2. Don’t log in to banking website directly from email links.
If you receive emails about updating your log in details, credit card or other payment details, always log in via your regular banking app/website. Never click on buttons or links directly from an email. If you accidentally click on a button and update details by mistake, immediately log in and change your password. Also contact your bank if necessary to freeze or cancel a compromised card/account.
3. Be wary of threatening emails.
If you get an email about a penalty, additional interest, shortfall or a fine, don’t ever feel pressured or threatened. Nothing should ever require you to transfer any money or supply your banking details on the spot. You always have time to verify the email is legitimate.
The beauty of working with a team like Entourage is you have support throughout the whole process from purchase to settlement and beyond. If you’re ever unsure about an email you’ve received give the team a call on our office line and there’ll be someone who can give you a hand.