The New Zealand Law Society is sounding the alarm anew as a fresh email scam targeting lawyers is spreading.
In a warning posted on its website, the Law Society said that it is “again warning lawyers and law firm staff to think twice before clicking on attachments in emails sent to them.”
This time, scammers are using the name and details of a real lawyer and law firm in New Zealand to send a brief email with an attachment. This attachment most likely contains or is linked to malware. Anyone who opens the attachment is at risk of infecting their computer or IT network.
The email reads:
Please Refer to the enclosed document for your kind reference
[Name of genuine lawyer]
The Law Society is asking lawyers and law firm staff keep in mind best-practice habits when opening emails.
First, recipients must ask who is sending the email and whether they can be certain that the email was in fact sent by the person emailing. Emails like the one above may seem genuine, but formatting errors and language use quirks should be red flags.
Recipients must also see if the email address looks unusual but is purporting to be sent by a lawyer. They can also check the register of lawyers to look at details of practicing lawyers in the country.
Lastly, recipients must think of why they are being contacted. If an email is from someone they know, recipients should think of whether the email refers to a matter they are familiar with. For those unsure, personal contact by phone is recommended by the Law Society.