Scam Alert! Cyber Crime is on the Rise - Be Wary of Scams
19 October 2015
Recent press reports about clients of solicitors firms being defrauded by online scammers is unfortunately all too prevalent these days. Cyber crime is on the rise and although we are extremely careful when handling clients’ bank details, online scammers set out to intercept your private information.
Please be very wary if you are ever asked to furnish bank details by email. If in doubt, phone your solicitor to check whether information has been requested. Details should be furnished in person or by fax, where appropriate.
The law society guidance on this area is set out below but do bear in mind that scams tend to mutate as time goes on and where you receive any request which on the surface appears to be from us, please do lift the phone and double check for your own peace of mind. Please be vigilant.
Format of scam
- Solicitors have reported that fraudsters are effectively stealing and using their contact details and that of their firm including their name, firm name and address in fraudulent correspondence to their clients and others.
- The correspondence from the fraudster looks legitimate. However upon inspection it will often include a different phone number or email address belonging to the fraudster and not the legitimate contact details of the firm or solicitor.
- The fraudster will contact a client or a person often by email or phone requesting personal details from them or requesting that they send money transfers or bank details.
- Believing it to be legitimate the client will respond via email or by phone to the fraudster who continues to pretend to be the legitimate solicitor.
- Unknowingly the client sends the money to the fraudsters bank account.
- Once the scam has been detected the fraudster simply moves onto another firm and steals their identity.
Law Society - Scam Alert Flyer
Action Fraud Police