Beware the fraudsters

Beware the fraudsters

Tuesday, 02 January

It seems there are more and more schemes and scams by fraudsters to get hold of your money. Scammers are able to find out a great deal of information online using social media sites. For example, posts between you and your contacts provide a host of information which can be used against you!

Below is an example of how your practice could be targeted and which has already worked on other practices in professional services.

CEO fraud

This scam plagues the professional services market. The fraudster only needs to collate publicly available information, such as social media profiles. He builds up a picture of the person he wishes to impersonate, identifying their friends, associates, employees, hobbies and interests. The fraudster will even study the way the person communicates with their team, so that they can impersonate them. They wait until the person is out of the office and won’t be easily contactable. Then they strike.

An email or call will be received by the finance manager in the business asking for money to be transferred urgently. It will appear to come from the manager, senior partner or decision maker in the business, who they know is away from the office. The imposter will specify that the transaction must be kept confidential.

While it seems common sense, the easiest way to reduce the risk of your practice becoming a victim is to speak directly with the person requesting the transfer to identify if it’s genuine. Ensure it’s in the culture of your practice that no one minds you checking if anything seems suspicious.

Improve your security

Have you carried out a cyber risk assessment on all your internal systems to check how secure they really are?

There are some great tools available to help assess your risk and offer protection advice. To help our legal practices, Larking Gowen can offer clients a 20% discount on Rizikon, a cyber-risk analysis tool. This looks at your overall cyber-risk ‘score’ and suggests improvements and priorities to enhance your systems. More information can be found here.

You can also complete our quick check here; 10 questions to help you and your legal practice on its way to cyber safety.

If you’re interested in a systems review, please contact our Legal team on 0330 024 0888 or legal@larking-gowen.co.uk

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