Cyber attacks on rise via fake emails

There has been a significant recent increase in the number of clients who have received fake emails “confirming” bank account details in conveyancing. Sadly, far too many of these incidents end in the loss of the client’s life savings.

In the majority of cases, the firm’s systems have not been compromised and the email was from a free email account set up to approximate the firm’s.

Despite the simplicity of these attacks, they can be devastatingly effective, and frustratingly difficult to prevent at the solicitor’s end.

Any practice which undertakes funds transfers, especially in conveyancing transactions, should double check staff are aware of the problem and giving clients the Lexon funds transfer warning in a timely manner.

It would be prudent to reinforce these warnings on a regular basis and to ensure your clients know:

  • You will never ask them to transfer large sums by email;
  • To be on the look-out for fake emails and how to spot them;
  • To only call the number on your website (not rely on letterhead received by email); and
  • The staff member who will be contacting them to confirm money transfers.

If your client does receive fraudulent email of this kind, please report it to the Queensland Law Society and Queensland Police even if no loss is sustained.

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