As we were browsing through the news the other day an article caught our eye. The story was about an Australian Masterchef finalist getting caught in a conveyancing property law scam. Australia is moving towards an electronic system nationally at the moment, so this sort of story is definitely a concern on that side of the Tasman, but there are a few differences between Australia and New Zealand that should give kiwis a bit of comfort in their next property transaction. Here is a quick overview on why New Zealand has a far more robust system than Australia, and how Conveyonline & Langley Twigg Law operate to keep the transaction scam free:
The title transfer is completed by lawyers only AFTER payment is made.
New Zealand titles are held by the the Land Transfer office and have been digitised for some time now already
All New Zealand's transactions are already completed electronically with multiple password protection
Any money is transferred through solicitor's trust accounts backed by the solicitor's fidelity fund
The net proceeds of the sale are transferred to client accounts only upon receipt of written instructions (an email won't cut it and will always be independently verified, usually by a phone call)
In this digital age it seems like there will always be scammers trying to find situations to take advantage of. It pays to be cautious when it comes to your email account and as Langley Twigg outlined in an earlier blog, there are definitely a few things you can do at your end to avoid being caught in email scam.
This page will be dedicated to our musings on property law in New Zealand and what's happening in our property market. Check back often for the latest property news NZ wide as well as updates on property information in New Zealand.
Nothing in this blog should be construed as legal advice - if you have a legal question, please get in touch with us directly so one of our lawyers can give you that advice.