Heslop & Platt is a trading name of Ashtons Legal

Cyber crime and phishing: how to stay vigilant against this ever increasing threat

The legal sector is seeing an unusually large increase in emails sent by scammers attempting to obtain client funds through the use of carefully targeted emails claiming to come from valid solicitors.

These fraudulent emails (known as “phishing”), are sent to an untargeted, mass of people asking for sensitive information (such as passwords or bank details), to open an attachment or encouraging them to visit a fake website.

At first glance these emails are often well crafted and might appear to be legitimate. However, on closer inspection it is often easy to spot the fake email from the tone of language used, spelling mistakes and typically a request to send funds to an unknown bank account.

At Heslop & Platt (and Ashtons Legal) we will never change bank account details part way through a matter. Where we have requested through email the transfer of funds we will always ask you to call and validate our bank account details with us before you make a payment.

Heslop & Platt takes the protection of your personal data very seriously. We have many layers of security in place to ensure your data is protected from unauthorised access. If you believe you might have received an email from us that appears suspicious, please let us know immediately by phone or using your usual email contact for Heslop & Platt but please do not reply to a suspicious email.

Here is some useful guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre on how to spot the most obvious signs of a phishing scam, and what to do if you’ve already responded: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/suspicious-email-actions