The Legal Practice Council (LPC) would like to warn legal practitioners of hackers who are intercepting emails of legal firms. This is known to be happening in Kimberley, but may be more widespread. The sole purpose of the interception is to create e-mails that provide fraudulent banking details of the firms, with a view to having funds paid to the fraudulent bank account. Practitioners operating trust accounts are potentially at greater risk than others, but no one is immune to this threat.

Legal Practitioners are advised to be careful when sending out any correspondence with bank account details, and when making payments into bank accounts for which details are provided by e-mail. All such details should be verified by telephone or any other means.

All legal practitioners have an ethical duty to put appropriate systems in place to ensure that payments, particular from trust, are paid to the correct accounts and to safeguard all their confidential information, failing which they may be viewed as being unprofessional.

Issued by the Legal Practice Council

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