Law Society urges vigilance over NI solicitor scam



Arleen Elliott, president of the Law Society

The Law Society of Northern Ireland has urged members of the public to stay vigilant following reports of fraudsters targeting solicitor firms and their clients.

The Society is working with the PSNI’s cyber crime unit to share information and increase awareness of online fraud.

Arleen Elliott, president of the Law Society, 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.”

The new scam sees fraudsters impersonating lawyers and contacting their clients with requests to transfer money to a new bank account set up for the crime.

Typically, neither the client nor their actual solicitor is aware of the fraud until it has been successfully perpetrated.

Ms Elliott added: “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.”

Law firms across Ireland are increasingly being targeted by fraudsters and scam artists, according to the Law Society.