Fraud and Cybercrime Dangers
Frauds targeting lawyers and their clients are getting more sophisticated. Law firms, particularly real estate firms, are sought-after targets for cyber hacking and phishing scams because they tend to have large sums of money in their bank accounts and are involved in transactions in which funds are regularly wired to outside parties.
Our Fraud Watch information sheets look at common types of fraud and how lawyers can spot the red flags to avoid being duped.
Are you acting on a matter you suspect might be a fraud?
If you are a LAWPRO insured, please call LAWPRO at 1-800-410-1013 (416-598-5899) if you are acting on a matter that you suspect might be a fraud. Working within confidentiality obligations imposed by the Rules of Professional Conduct, one of our Fraud Team members will advise you. If you have been targeted by a fraud by email, please forward any of the emails you have received to [email protected]
If you have been successfully duped, please immediately notify LAWPRO as there may be a claim against you.
Any time you are transferring funds, you are at risk of being a victim of fraud. Consider using this checklist for every wire transfer.
Fraudsters try to trick lawyers into wiring funds to an account that the fraudster controls. Sometimes, they succeed, and the funds get into the hands of criminals. What do you do then?
LAWPRO CPD: Avoiding the wire fraud nightmare – What you need to know to protect yourself and your clients
In this CPD program you will hear from the experts about the latest wire scams against law firms and their clients and how to stay a step ahead. You will learn tips you can easily implement in your practice to help prevent wire fraud and other cyber dangers. This is a must-view program for lawyers, their clerks and staff to understand and combat wire fraud.
The cost of a cyber-breach goes beyond the financial losses of stolen funds, damage to equipment and lost income. There is also the damage to a firm’s reputation and the loss of confidence of its clients. With many insurers now offering cyber risk policies, firms have many options to tailor a policy to their specific needs.
LAWPRO mandatory insurance program includes coverage in the amount of $250,000 for losses related to cybercrime. This sublimit of coverage provides a modest “safety net” for lawyers in the area of cybercrime exposure. This article explains how the decision to offer cybercrime coverage was arrived at, and how this coverage can fit into a wider firm strategy to protect against the serious consequences of a cyber attack.
Law Society of Ontario Fraud-Related Resources
At times frauds are perpetuated to launder money, support terrorist financing and/or support other illegal activity. Lawyers must not facilitate fraud or any other illegal activity when providing legal services. Anti-money laundering requirements are set by the Law Society of Ontario.
The Law Society of Ontario provides several resources including this worksheet: Red Flags of Fraud, Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Illegal Activity, that can be used to consider potential red flags and otherwise reduce your risks of participating in a fraud or other illegal activity.
Click here for a full chronological list of all fraud articles and resources LAWPRO has published.