Toronto Area Lawyer Contacted on a “We Built a Website for You” Hacking Attempt

An Oakville lawyer advised us of a new scam that appears to be a brazen attempt to gain access to a law firm’s computers.

Someone identifying himself as Mason Saunders called the firm this morning and asked to speak directly to the lawyer by name. He indicated to the lawyer that he was calling further to a discussion with a clerk at the firm 3 weeks ago. The caller referenced the clerk by name and indicated he had been authorized to create a website for the firm. The caller then asked if the clerk had spoken to the lawyer. “No” was the reply. The lawyer asked for the web address to look at the new website. The caller replied that there were privacy issues, but that access could be arranged by creating “ID numbers” for the lawyer. This was was clearly a ploy to have the lawyer access an external website that would download malware of some type, presumably to allow external access to the firm’s computers for identity or information theft. The purported Saunders appeared to be calling from an Florida area code (561).

Ontario lawyers and firm staff are warned to watch out for this or similar attempts to gain access to law firm systems. Never disclose computer login names or passwords over the phone or visit a strange website at the request of someone calling your firm, even if they purport to be from an entity familiar to you (e.g., the bank with the firm’s trust accounts).

If you have been targeted by this or as similar frauds, please forward details, including any emails or other documents that you have received to fraudinfo@lawpro.ca.

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