There is a growing number of scams and hoax emails aiming to exploit clients and customers of professional services firms, including law firms.
These scammers aim to identify and exploit the trustworthiness of professional services firms to get access to data and ultimately profit from clients and customers of those firms.
We will always do what we can to protect you and your data, but there are steps you can and should also take to protect yourself from potential fraud and scams.
You may receive a scam or hoax email that appears or pretends to be sent from our firm. These emails may be asking for you to reply with certain information or ask for you to make payment to certain bank details.
You should be aware of the signs of a scam email and when to avoid engaging with an email.
How to Spot a Scam Email
There are several common signs of scam emails that you should be aware of and look out for. These include:
- The senders name and senders email address do not match, for example you might see an email from “John Smith” but the email appears as “firstname.lastname@example.org”
- The email claims to be from a business, but is sent from a web-based email address, such as Gmail, Outlook, or Hotmail
- There are spelling mistakes in the senders name and/or email address
- The tone of voice and style of writing does not match previous communications you’ve received from us
- If the email contains bank account details and is asking for payment, the name of the bank and the bank the account is with do not match our firms’ details
- The email addresses you by your full name (e.g. first, middle, and last name) or by a name that we do not commonly use when communicating with you
- Inconsistent email signatures or differences with the formatting of the signature
- Unexpected attachments or attachments with unusual file types, such as .htm or .exe files
Confirming Bank Details
If we need to send bank details to you or if we request bank details from you, we will always confirm these details both in writing and by phone call.
This is both to ensure that there are no mistakes in the details provided as well as to reassure you that you are providing details to our firm and not to any scammers.
If you are unsure of any communication you receive asking for payment or for bank account details, please call us on 01925 351 350 to confirm if it is genuine.
If you have made a payment to use previously, you should check to make sure that future requests have the same bank account details and that they match our business name. We trade as “Chris Rudd Solicitors” but our registered business name is “CRS Law Ltd”.
Please refer to our Easy Ways to Pay page for more information on how we can take payment.
What to Do if You Receive a Fraudulent Email
If you believe you have received a fraudulent or scam email that is impersonating our firm or a member of staff at our firm, please let us know immediately. You can call us on 01925 351 350, or by the direct dial of your file handler.
Alternatively, you can email your file handler to raise your concerns. You can also forward an email you are concerned about to our data protection manager on email@example.com. Please include in your forwarded message that you would like to confirm whether that email is genuine.
You may also want to report the email to one or more of the following:
- Action Fraud: https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/scam-emails
- Gov.uk: https://www.gov.uk/report-suspicious-emails-websites-phishing
- NCSC: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/collection/phishing-scams/report-scam-email
If you’re unsure whether or not you should report a scam email, contact Action Fraud for advice.
If you have fallen victim to a scam, contact the police.
We do favour the use emails as a means of communication for non-sensitive information. However, we must make it clear that Internet email is not a completely secure means of communication.
This means that email between us containing confidential or legally privileged information could be intercepted, although the risk is small, you must be aware that we cannot ensure complete confidentiality.
If you are happy to email us then please note this lack of security. If you do email us or you do not raise objection to us using it we will take it that you have no objection to us emailing you but we will strive to ensure that highly confidential information is not sent by this method.