Law Society warns of scammers posing as senior lawyers or large law firms to dupe public

A lawyer speaking to his client outside the State Courts. Scammers have taken to posing as senior lawyers to trick members of the public into giving them money or their e-mail account details.
A lawyer speaking to his client outside the State Courts. Scammers have taken to posing as senior lawyers to trick members of the public into giving them money or their e-mail account details.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Scammers have taken to posing as senior lawyers to trick members of the public into giving them money or their e-mail account details.

On Friday (Feb 14), the Law Society of Singapore said in a statement that in one such instance, the fraudsters used the name of a senior partner in a large law firm to trick a member of the public into making a loan transaction.

They forged a letter using the senior partner's name and law practice without the lawyer knowing or consenting to this, said the society, a body that carries out various functions under the Legal Profession Act, including protecting and assisting the public in all matters related to the law.

"The fraudsters used that forged letter to deceive a member of the public to transfer $500 to a bank account," the society wrote. "That money was subsequently lost."

In another case, fraudsters used an e-mail address almost identical to that of a well-known law firm's to trick recipients to reply to the e-mail.

Those who did respond might have had their e-mail accounts hacked, the Law Society said.

The society also warned members of the public to be alert to these scams and verify e-mails purportedly from a lawyer by contacting the lawyer, but not through the e-mails in question. They should only transfer funds when there is a confirmation from the lawyer, and they should not assume documents that have the name of a lawyer or law firm on them are legitimate.