HL Partnership is encouraging its ARs to encrypt sensitive emails and make use of its hlpCRM system to ensure customer and adviser communication and data transmission is secure.
The network has also produced written material such as ‘Scam Alert’ leaflets and increased the visibility of the ‘Cyber Crime Awareness’ wording on data protection statements, product suitability reports and all email footers.
The same measures are being taken with HL Partnership’s sister network, Mortgage Support Network.
Gavin Earnshaw, compliance director at HL Partnership, said: “We all believe that it will never happen to us, but in truth no one is completely immune to becoming a victim of fraud.
“This is particularly true when we are in the midst of that most stressful of situations – the house buying process.
“With so many requests for different documents and where we will be expected to transfer money at some point in the journey, it is easy to miss what looks like a credible but fraudulent request for money. Raising awareness is a key weapon in the fight against this kind of crime.”
hlpCRM employs advanced security features within the client portal to create a safe gateway for advisers and clients to send and retrieve documentation, transmit actions and share messages.
Last year UK bank customers lost over £236m to fraudsters. Most of this fraud was due to poor security, using vulnerable email accounts, or by clicking on a seemingly innocent link in an email or website to download some malicious software to customers’ computers.
Earnshaw added: “Only by being vigilant ourselves, making our customers more aware and using the best technology tools available, can we minimise the potential dangers to our customers and move to eradicate this particularly evil crime.”
HL Partnership currently has over 250 AR firms.