Fraud Alert: April 8, 2015

New email "phishing" scam targets firm accounting staff and lawyers

April 8, 2015

Some Ontario firms have been targeted by a new scam. The perpetrator spoofs a senior staff member’s email address, making it appear that the email is actually sent by law firm staff, asking staff to divulge bank account information or to send funds. On the pretext of a need for extreme sensitivity and relying on a staff member not questioning the instruction of someone senior in the firm, the perpetrator tries to convince staff to ignore normal protocols. The perpetrator may also pose as a lawyer from another firm.

Although you can’t stop spoofing, you can avoid being a victim by establishing protocols for transferring money out of your accounts and adhering to them. Double check with the lawyer handling the file before funds are paid out and if anything seems unusual, speak with the lawyer. For more information relating to the Ontario fraud, see LawPro’s Avoid-a-claim blog.

If you suspect that you have encountered this fraud in BC, contact Barbara Buchanan, Conduct & Ethics, at 604.697.5816 or