Safeguarding against scams targeting law firms is a pervasive problem but precisely what constitutes effective due diligence particularly against cybercrime remains unclear. This is an area crying out for clear guidance on how firms can best protect client monies. Regular updates on how the scams operate and tell tale signs to look out for would also help firms to be more vigilant. This firm was unsuccessfully targeted last year by a well established and known scam - a heads up from the relevant authorities could have helped to identify that straight away.
The SRA has received an increase in reports of firms either being contacted by con artists or falling victim to fraudulent activity, with potentially serious consequences for clients buying or selling property. The SRA is, therefore, urging solicitors to step up their efforts to protect client interests. Recent scams include firms receiving calls from fraudsters who pretend to act on behalf of banks to obtain sensitive information, such as account passwords. Also of concern is an increase in emails between firms and clients being intercepted, leading to client funds being paid into fraudsters' accounts.