The Law Society has highlighted the support for solicitors on fraud prevention that is currently being offered to businesses by the Metropolitan Police regarding Mandate Fraud.
Mandate Fraud is also known Creditor Fraud, Payment Diversion Fraud and Supplier Account Takeover Fraud. It occurs when a fraudster approaches you via email, letter or telephone impersonating a familiar contact of yours such as a client, solicitor, supplier, your manager or your firm’s owners or partners. They contact you for the purpose of tricking you into changing the sort code and account number of a payment you’d recognise. They then use this information to divert the money you have authorised, through to an account they control. The liability for the financial loss normally falls with the business as you have authorised the payment.
This highly publicised scam is a great threat to law firms, particularly when dealing with the large sums involved with conveyancing and probate cases for instance.
The Police unit Falcon, a team of specialist detectives whose remit is complex cyber crime and fraud are distributing posters and information to support businesses in avoiding this kind of scam and also how to report it should you fall victim to something like this.
The Law Society themselves offer free online training for solicitors on cyber security, practice notes on protecting your firm from scams and SRA guidance notes on measures to protect your firm and your clients.