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Bank transfer scam using “spoofed” email address

Be advised that several Nova Scotia lawyers and/or their staff have received the following type of “spoofing” email scam attempt (emails that falsely appear to be sent from an individual’s email account). Unlike the typical financial scams where a client seeks to debit your trust account with a bogus cheque, in this scenario a lawyer or staff person will receive an email appearing to be from a colleague who is out of the office, requesting assistance in making a payment or wire transfer to a domestic or international financial institution. The colleague’s name will appear in the “From:” line of the email, which leads the person in the office to falsely believe they are communicating with their colleague. One version of the message is as follows:

     [Employee name],

     Please let me know if you're available to process a Bank Transfer or E-Transfer, because i'll be very busy today(this is an outgoing payment). And also, what is the information you need to process it?

     [Lawyer name]

     Sent from my iPhone

If you or your staff have received a similar email, change your email passwords immediately in order to reduce the risk of being “spoofed” again. These emails will be looking to either transfer money directly from one account to another, or to intercept and obtain sensitive banking information that can be used to steal money from your accounts.

Remember, if you receive an unusual and unsolicited email that appears to be from a party you know, confirm their request by sending a new email (not by directly replying to the email in question).

For tips to avoid being victimized, read a list of "Red Flags”, and visit the Fraud section on To report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at or 902 423 1300, x346.