Protecting residential sellers against fraud
Innovation and Tech

Protecting residential sellers against fraud

By PEXA • Oct 2018


PEXA’s Residential Seller Guarantee (Guarantee) provides protection to sellers in the event of a specific type of fraud. The purpose of the Guarantee is to ensure that sellers are not left homeless as a result and the following is what you need to know to help your client.

To be eligible, the following steps must occur:

  • The seller’s lawyer or conveyancer must accurately enter the seller’s bank account details into a PEXA Workspace.
  • Once this has occurred, but before settlement takes place, a person other than the lawyer or conveyancer, i.e. the fraudster, gains unauthorised access to the Workspace and changes the seller’s bank account details.
  • As a result of the fraudster’s actions, the funds do not reach the seller’s bank account. A summary of the conditions can be found here.

Senior Lawyer, Emma Elsworth, recently shared this advice for lawyers and conveyancers:

“It’s going to provide practitioners, clients and other stakeholders in the market with reassurance that the PEXA platform is safe and reliable. As a practitioner I think it’d be wise for practitioners to look at their internal processes and say to their clients to contact them immediately if they haven’t received sale proceeds within 24 hours.”

Once the client’s lawyer or conveyancer is contacted, they can then reach out to PEXA. In turn, PEXA will contact the bank to which the vendor’s funds were paid and work with them to stop any withdrawal of those funds – significantly reducing the likelihood of funds being unrecoverable.  A claim against the PRSG can be made by completing and signing the Claim Form with PEXA.

Robust security measures

Since the implementation of the Guarantee, not a single claim has been made. The likelihood of such fraud occurring is very low as a result of PEXA’s robust security measures, which include the following additions:

  • Multi-Factor Authentication which requires the user to provide two or more types of evidence to verify their identity when logging in to an account or completing a transaction.
  • Increased monitoring of unusual activity surrounding password resets, new user creations and changes to BSB and account numbers. If such activity is detected by PEXA, a member of PEXA’s team will contact members to confirm that the activity is legitimate.
  • Machine learning algorithms to detect behavioural anomalies on a per user basis. If the behavioural pattern of a user changes, PEXA’s risk profiling mechanism is activated to trigger an alert. The member will then be promptly contacted by PEXA’s security team.
  • Workspace time stamps and summary screen so that members can see when the Financial Settlement Schedule was last updated and by which user.

Further, PEXA members will soon have access to a ‘secure app’ that will allow bank details to be requested and received safely via the app.

To understand the PEXA Residential Seller Guarantee in greater detail, consumers should refer to the PEXA website and practitioners can ask questions and seek assistance from their peers on the PEXA online Community forum.

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