Watch Out! Scammers Targetting Lawyers Through Phishing, Fraud & Other Scams

Source: pixabay.com

It seems no matter where legal professionals turn these days, there always is a scam to be on the lookout for!

Below are two scams that have been reported to the Bar.  If you have any questions about these scams, please contact pmap@scbar.org.

Alert: Phishing emails targeting lawyers

SC Bar members are cautioned to be aware of emails indicating that a complaint has been made against the lawyer or firm or that they contain a special message from the Bar president. Such emails are not coming from the Bar and are an attempt to phish members. Phishing emails are fraudulent emails that may contain links to phony websites or may request that you share personal or financial information by using a variety of techniques. Look for clues, including a suspicious “from” email address. The email may include directions to click on a link, which purports to be a copy of the complaint or of the “special message.” Do not click this link, as it could be an attempt to put ransomware on the affected computer. Bar members are reminded that any official grievance would come via U.S. mail from the Supreme Court and that any important Bar announcement would appear in E-Blast or would be sent by an individual Bar staff member.

Learn more here


Check frauds and scams continue to target lawyer trust accounts

Remember the old saying, “If it seems too good to be true….” The Bar continues to receive reports of sophisticated check scams targeting lawyers. Scammers use real companies and real names to convince their victims. Some scams are particularly convincing, with phone calls from “clients” and even some reports of in-person visits from scammers. Even banks are sometimes fooled by the high level of check forgery and may misinform the lawyer of a check’s authenticity. Sometimes the checks are authentic but stolen. Stay vigilant. If a large amount of money is involved with a client you do not know, wait before disbursing funds. There have been instances where the fraud is discovered by the bank up to a week later. Report all frauds to your malpractice carrier, local law enforcement and the Secret Service field office in your state.

Tips on How to Spot Phishing E-mails

Here are a few tips on how to spot e-mails that are “phishing” for information:PHISHING EMAIL

  1. Who is the e-mail from? Who does it claim to be from? Any e-mail from the SC Bar will always end with @scbar.org in its domain From
  2. Who is it to? Does it have your e-mail address in the to block or something else?To
  3. Would the sender ever send an e-mail like this ? If you are not sure, pick up the phone and call. It never hurts to find out. interior
  4. Does the e-mail contain a strange link? If so, do not click on it. Call the sender and confirm that they sent the attachment. Strange website links or attachments could contain hidden malware (even ransomware) to steal data from you.link
  5. The SC Bar maintains multiple social media accounts with photos from events, recent news and resources for attorneys and the public. Bar members are invited to connect with the SC Bar on Facebook and Twitter; the YLD on FacebookTwitter and Instagram; the Mock Trial Program on Facebook and Twitter; and PMAP on Twitter. Keep up with updates from the Bar via social media or E-Blast.

Check out this link to learn more about phishing attacks and what to do about it. Also, check out this link to learn more about how phishing e-mails like this target Bar members and what to look for. E-mail pmap@scbar.org if you have specific questions about practice management or using technology in your law office.

How to Stay Safe Online During the Holiday Season

pexels-photo-230544

The holiday shopping season is here, and many busy lawyers and IT-centric folk will do the majority of their shopping online. Here are some important online shopping tips from Stay Safe Online to keep in mind throughout the month. Additionally, be sure to be vigilant with email threats as this is the perfect time of year where hackers attempt every online scam possible. Review these tips to help you recognize holiday phishing scams and malware campaigns from the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team, and be sure to follow these tips should you believe you are a victim to these crimes. Safe online shopping to all from your Bar’s Practice Management Assistance Program. Email pmap@scbar.org for assistance.

 

Other Resources

Watch Out for these 3 Online Shopping Scams by Techlicious

Scams and Safety on the Internet by the FBI

10 Tips to Prevent Phishing Attacks by Panda Security

11 Tips on Identifying Spam, Phishing, and Spoofing Emails by Online Convert

SC Bar PMAP’s Fun and Practical Tech List

pexels-photo-120222

An annual favorite – the PMAP fun and practical Tech list is here just in time for the holidays. If you’re clueless about what to buy this year, don’t despair. We’ve got 12 great ideas!

FujifilmUS Instax Mini 8 camera – remember those old Polaroid cameras?pexels-photo-191160 They’re back!
Don’t be afraid! This is not your Mom’s polaroid! This camera comes in a variety of colors with this particular link going to the powder blue option. It comes with a lot of accessories, with the exception of film. It’s perfect for any age to use and makes a handy camera to have at the office!

Armani EA Connected Watches – this unique watch wireless syncs and is compatible with Apple® and Android™ smartphones. It has a 6 month guaranteed battery life. Some of its features include: the ability to automatically convert time as you travel, track sleep and activity, set up notifications, etc.

 Padaday Darth Vader Optical Illusion Desk Lamp – Stars Wars is back and so is Star Wars memorabilia. snipdarthvaderThis lamp comes complete with a color changing mode and with a USB power adapter. You can use it as a nightlight or as a fun conversation piece in your bedroom, living room, theatre room, etc., with your other Star Wars memorabilia.  Be sure to note the light does not cut off automatically and may not be delivered until after Christmas, according to Amazon.

Corkcicle Canteens – these fun, colorful canteens come in a variety of shapes and sizes.16oz_glosscaribbeangreen_front
They are guaranteed to keep drinks ice cold for up to 25 hours or hot for up to 12 without freezing or sweating…and possibly, even longer for drinks containing ice! These make the perfect gift for anyone on your gift list!

Google Home – Google Home is Google’s version of Amazon’s Echo and Alexa. It’s not on your computer but is a separate device. Ask it to play music, answer questions, handle smart home/office requests (like turn the lights down or turn the thermostat up), etc.

Nintendo Classic Edition – Millennial gamers will remember this fun 1985 classic! Many are guaranteed to have it on their holiday wish list. pexels-photo-120222However, Nintendo doesn’t want fans to get their hopes up too much, as this Nintendo Classic Edition is currently out of stock. Marketers believe Nintendo will bring it back after the holiday rush is over. If you love this fun throwback, watch for announcements from Nintendo after the holidays. And, if you’re one of the lucky ones who happen to find one before January 1st, don’t pay over $60 for it, as scalpers will try to market it for four times that much.

Personalized Yoga Mat – Lawyers, like many professionals, are embracing meditation and yoga. Even if you do not practice Yoga, these personalized Yoga mats make for great gifts! Choose a mat color, thread color and monogram style from a variety of options. 16rolled-custom-matsPlus, enjoy shopping for other personalized items including pet mats, baby mats, place mats, Greek mats, bags, and more!

Paws for a Cause – Do you know someone on your gift list that is an animal lover? These adorable pillows add a cute accent for your office plus a portion of this product’s proceeds goes directly to ASPCA to help animals find their forever home!

iRobot Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner – this self-charging vacuum is designed to vacuum where dirt and dust hide. It is perfect for any law office, and because of its convenient scheduling, it won’t disturb meetings or office time. It can run up to two hours and allows you to clean, schedule and set preferences from your smartphone. (These feline friends approve too!)

Yoga 700 – No it is not another Yoga mat- this Yoga is an adaptable PC! However, it is as flexible as a Yogi. It can twist into different shapes such as laptop, stand, tent or tablet. It does all this with a touchscreen. Thin and light, it’s easy to carry just about anywhere!

Foldable Bluetooth Keyboard – This foldable Bluetooth portable keyboard is just right for any iOS, Android, Windows, PC, Tablets, and Smartphones. It is easy to use and pairs fast with any device with just an ON/OFF switch and a function command. It contains a built in battery, charges with micro USB cable, and turns on automatically when you open it.

Piper nv Smart Home Security System with Night Visionpexels-photo-101808This smart home security system comes with no contracts or monthly fees. Its high resolution 180 degree view camera is complete with night vision for live and recorded video. It has motion/sound detection, temperature / light humidity sensors and a 105 dB siren. Simple setup and easy to use, it is a great gift for the loved ones in your life.

Look for other fun practical and tech ideas below from other practice management advisors and tech companies around the world here:

CNET’s Holiday Gift Guide

Computerworld’s Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Best Buy’s Top Tech 20

Happy Holidays from SC Bar PMAP!theme-christmas

 

Do you own a laptop or mobile device?

computer-laptop-levitation-cooling-74039

How long has it been since you fully backed it up and encrypted it?

If your answer is longer than 30 days, then you might want to think about backing it up and encrypting it today!

Why? Because in the United States, a laptop goes missing every 50 seconds!

That’s not the best odds for a busy law firm!

Don’t take a chance! Fully backup and encrypt that laptop or mobile device today!

1 2 3 4 39