CYBER CRIME ALERT – SOLICITORS AND CLIENTS STILL BEING STUNG
Since the last alert the Trust Accounts Department has been notified of a further four fraud incidents.
Two involved the clients receiving emails purportedly from the law practice directing that they pay monies into the law practices’ trust bank accounts where the trust bank account details had been tampered with. This netted the criminals $187,510.
Another related to the client receiving an email and tax invoice from the law practice to pay $15,000 to the law practice’s office account. Again, the bank account details had been altered and the criminals made off with the $15,000.
The last related to the payment of Barrister’s fees of $30,855. The barrister’s bank account details had been altered on the email received by the law practice from the Barrister. The law practice had to pay the barrister again out of their office account.
The Trust Accounts Department continually receives notifications of other failed attempts that have been thwarted due to the risk management practices that the law practices now have in place.
In the last alert the Trust Account Department advised they had received communications from several solicitors relating to email scams where apparently another law practice is seeking assistance from them to do an aspect of the legal work.
In most instances it will purportedly be a law practice that does only Family Law and offers to the other recipient law practices the attached conveyancing work. They will ask you to open ‘the attached document’ or words to that effect, and then ask you for a quote. DON’T OPEN IT. Once you open it you download malware.
In each of the incidents notified by the law practices they checked the email addresses of the REAL law practice (Google Search) and noticed that the was a slight difference in the email address on the bogus email.
Since the last alert the Trust Accounts Department has been notified of many more attempts using this guise.
More recently, the email from the purported law practice simply attaches a document and requests the recipient to open it and then contact the purported law practice to discuss – DON’T OPEN IT.