Fraud alerts - 2014

Fraud alert - bogus bank calls, advance fees and email scams (May 2014)

There are a number of fraud issues currently affecting solicitors in Scotland. To protect your business and your clients, please read through them carefully and share them with all the solicitors in your firm.

1. Fraudsters gaining access to solicitors' client account/security details

Fraudsters pretending to be from bank fraud or relationship management teams are calling firms attempting to obtain unique account information from you and your staff in order to steal cash. The callers are knowledgeable and persistent and may appear to have the appropriate ID information.

Once you have refused to give out the information, another caller may contact you saying they are from the Relationship Management team or they may ask you to insert your card into the card reader machine for verification and type in the PIN. This is another way in which account information can be obtained and banks will not call asking you to do this.

. Passwords/PINs should NOT be disclosed to anyone even if they purport to be a member of the bank's staff.
. If a caller asks you to insert your card/PIN into your card reader machine, you should not do this.
. If calling your bank to check the validity of a call, disconnect the caller and call your bank from another phone.
. Banks do not send emails asking for bank account information. Emails requesting password/PIN information should NOT be answered.
. It is also worth reviewing your IT security generally in light of recent publicity over vulnerabilities in IT security.

2. National Crime Agency fraud alert

The NCA have issued a fraud alert to the legal profession regarding debt recovery of unpaid loans or promisory notes. The details can be found in the full NCA alert.

3. Email scam

We've also had reports from members of emails which appear to come from the website 'Solicitors from' with the subject title ' article regarding your firm'.

Members should delete the email without opening it or clicking on any of the links. Anyone who has received such an email can let us know the time and date they received it, and confirm its source and title – but should not forward the email itself.

Those who have opened the email should contact their IT provider for support and alert the Action Fraud police service

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Society's financial compliance team.

Ian Messer
Director of Financial Compliance
The Law Society of Scotland