We have been advised that there is a computer virus that is targeting solicitors and their practices which could have a serious affect upon you and/or your firm.
If you receive an email purporting to be from the SRA and relating to a pending investigation DO NOT OPEN IT without first checking that it is genuine.
The emails originate from an email address which is not the correct SRA one – i.e they do not come from “sra.org.uk” . If you open the attachment which accompanies the email then you may infect your system. If you then go on to MySRA you may find that it changes your data on MySRA – including applying for you or your firm to be removed from the register.
The SRA is aware of the virus and have issued a warning on their web site (www.sra.org.uk/sra/news/scam-email-sra.page) and have advised that if you have opened the attachment, you should report it to your bank and IT provider.
If your firm experiences longer term regulatory implications as a result of this then please contact the SRA as a matter of urgency.
In addition, the Law Society have also revealed that they have become the alleged sender of a scam email.
They say that solicitors’ firms have reported the receipt of phishing email messages which purport to be from the Law Society and are sent from a variety of email addresses, including some fraudulently using the @lawsociety.org.uk domain. The emails are sent with a Word document and the subject ‘Notification regarding a fraudulent activity involving [recipient name]’.
The Law Society stress that these emails are not legitimate and should not be opened, forwarded or downloaded. They should be deleted. Recipients who have opened the email should contact their IT provider for support and alert the Action Fraud police service.
The illegitimate emails are being investigated as a matter of urgency by the Law Society with the assistance of appropriate technical and law enforcement agencies, including the National Crime Agency. The Law Society systems have not been compromised, the emails are originating from a third party.
For more information go to the advice page on the Law Society web site at www.lawsociety.org.uk/news/stories/phishing-email-scam-law-society-warns-firms-to-be-vigilant/