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Lawyers’ Insurance Programme: Loss Prevention Tip #51 – When Instructions Change

The Lawyers’ Insurance Programme has become aware of a cyber incident in which a fraudster hacked into an email account of an assistant at a St. John’s law firm. The fraudster was apparently monitoring the emails of a real estate closing and when the matter was almost completed and money about to change hands, the fraudster, posing as the legitimate party awaiting the funds, sent the assistant an email to change the banking information for where the funds were to be deposited. Luckily, the assistant contacted the client by telephone to confirm this change. If the assistant had not done so, the money would have been stolen.

A simple loss prevention tip: When money is requested, always speak directly to your client to confirm instructions, especially when instructions change at the last minute.