Residential property in Australia is worth $7T so as you can imagine, there’s zero tolerance for risk. The biggest issue we see the industry facing today stems from the vulnerability of email.
The threat of email phishing scams is present in every industry that uses email as a main point of communication. However, the property industry has been identified as a target for hackers attempting to redirect settlement funds via the interception and manipulation of email. While this risk sits outside the PEXA system, it can directly impact our members so we’ll shortly launch an app which provides a safe communication channel for bank account details to be shared between practitioners and their clients, removing the risks associated with using email for the exchange of important banking information. Similarly, practitioners can communicate their trust account details securely via the app.
While it’s not always easy to get data on the prevalence of fraud through manual paper-based property settlements, the previous Secretary of the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation, Martin Hoffman, stated that between 2013 and 2018 the NSW Registrar General paid around $2.3 million for errors and $7.3 million for fraudin paper transactions and nothing for any of the transactions on PEXA.
Security is paramount for PEXA and as you can imagine, we have multiple robust systems and processes in place to protect our system, and the members that use it.