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09 October 2015

New Fraud Targeting Solicitors

The Law Society of Northern Ireland would like to warn the public to be extremely vigilant following reports from its members that a new type of fraud has emerged which is targeting solicitor firms and their clients.

Commenting the President of the Law Society of Northern Ireland, Arleen Elliott said:

“The Law Society of Northern Ireland has become aware of an increased number of frauds targeting a number of solicitor firms throughout Northern Ireland. In the majority of the cases fraudsters have contacted the solicitor firms by email and by telephone attempting to obtain the firm’s bank account details.

However a new and worrying development has emerged in which fraudsters are targeting solicitors’ clients via email pretending to be their solicitor.

Fraudsters provide the client with new and amended bank details and request that the client transfers money to that account which is controlled by the fraudster.

Such is the level of sophistication of the fraud that neither the client nor solicitor is aware of the fraud until it has been successfully perpetrated.

The Law Society is warning the public, clients and its members to be extremely vigilant.

Clients should not make a transfer of funds if they receive an unusual email or phone request informing them that the solicitors banking details and arrangements have changed.

Before making any money transfer the client should always double check directly with their solicitor.

The Law Society continues to work with the PSNI Cyber Crime Unit to share information and to increase awareness of the types of fraud currently circulating online.

-     ENDS -