By hacking into emails, gangsters are gaining millions from disrupted property sales in Britain.
More than £10 million is estimated to have been lost to criminals who pose as buyers, sellers or lawyers.
The problem is escalating with about two successful frauds a week now, resulting in an average of £112,000 of stolen funds for each.
British police suspect organised crime gangs are behind the scam.
After hacking into emails between sellers and buyers and their solicitors and estate agents, the fraudsters send an email announcing that the bank account details have changed and providing a different account.
This ought to raise suspicions, but nevertheless nearly 100 people in the UK have reported falling victim to it.
Once the funds hit the changed account they are transferred electronically to bank accounts in various parts of the world, making them impossible to trace.
The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau recorded 91 conveyancing fraud crimes up to last October. In September and October alone, 16 cases were reported to Action Fraud – an average of two a week.
Police believe the fraudsters use malware that allows them to gain access to individuals’ computers and those of estate agents and law firms.
The malware can sift through data and find evidence of housing sales.
Fraudsters can also hack into weak Wi-Fi systems and people are warned not to use public Wi-Fis for financial transactions.
This crime is also known to take place in Portugal, at least in the case of holiday rentals.