BEWARE OF EMAIL SPOOFING
In recent months, we have shared a number of articles regarding email fraud. Some recent cases have involved the interception of email communications between lawyers and property purchasers. In these cases, the fraudsters have gained access to the email accounts of either the lawyer or the purchaser and have intercepted emails containing the details of the accounts to which funds should be transferred and have substituted the details of these accounts with their own account details. Many people are now aware of the potential for this kind of fraud.
However, there is another type of email fraud which appears to be less well-known and this is known as ‘spoofing’. In spoofing cases, the fraudster is not actually able to gain access to the email address of the lawyer or the sender, but the fraudster creates an email which appears to have come from one of the parties because the details in the ‘from’ box have been manipulated. For example, if a fraudster were to send a spoof email from NMPLegal, it might look like this:
From: NMPlegal [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Whilst this would appear to be a genuine email from NMPLegal because the ‘From’ box details an email address from the NMPLegal domain, in fact, when you click reply, the reply address would be different and would actually be the fraudster’s address. Unfortunately there is nothing which can be done to prevent someone from creating a spoof email. However, there are steps which you can take to prevent yourself from falling victim to this type of cyber-crime.
Whenever you receive an email from us, it would always come from our domain @nmplegal.com. Even if an email appears to have come from this domain, when you click ‘reply’ if a different email address is displayed in the ‘To’ box, then it is not a genuine email from us. Where possible, we would always address you personally and not use a general greeting. We would never ask you to disclose or enter your email password.
Finally and most importantly, we urge all clients who are transferring funds to our client account to telephone the office on (009) 0392 816 0440 to confirm our bank account details over the telephone before transferring any funds. We also advise all people who are expecting a transfer of funds from us to provide us with their bank account details by hand, post or fax rather than by email and to telephone the office to confirm their bank account details with us over the telephone.