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Issue 66 | November 2020


This newsletter includes information to help lawyers reduce the likelihood of being sued for malpractice. The material presented is not intended to establish, report, or create the standard of care for lawyers. The articles do not represent a complete analysis of the topics presented, and readers should conduct their own appropriate legal research.
FRAUD ALERTS: Be Vigilant Over the Holidays During a Pandemic

We've issued numerous fraud alerts this year, and continue to receive daily reports from lawyers around the province. You should always be vigilant to fraud, but particularly during the pandemic, when scammers are targeting distracted staff and impermanent workplaces, hoping that these vulnerabilities will delay detection of scams. Here is a round-up of the most common scam attempts and red flags that we've been seeing in 2020:

FRAUD ALERT: Negligence Lawsuit Against Law Firms Highlights Liability Risks of Wire Scams (Nov 24th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Fake Law Firm "Lawman & Associates" (Oct 26th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Job Application Email Scams (Sep 21st, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Fake Law Firm Websites Targeting Lawyers (Jul 27th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Manitoba Firms Fall Victim to Ransomware Scams (Jun 24th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Bogus cheque scam circulating (Jun 12th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Scam attempts rampant (May 26th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERTS: "Request from Boss" Scams; Bogus Invoices; Phony "Canada Post" Deliveries (Apr 28th, 2020)

FRAUD ALERT: Phony invoice payment request (Feb 24th, 2020)

Remember that you must always confirm a prospective client’s identification in accordance with the Client ID Regulations of the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society.

Be vigilant with every request for services that you receive, not just those received via the Internet. Fraudulent requests for services can be made by mail and courier, as well as by individuals who arrive in person to retain you and to use your trust account to receive and disburse funds. Be cautious with all cheques received, especially if they exceed the agreed upon amount.

If you do decide to proceed with a transaction where the funds are received and are to be paid out within a short period, be sure to go to the bank website to verify branch transit number, address and phone number on the cheque. Wait until the bank confirms that the funds are legitimate and are safe to withdraw from the deposit. Where possible, use the Large Value Transfer System (LVTS), an electronic funds transfer system that allows large payments to be exchanged securely and immediately.

For tips to avoid being victimized, and to report or seek advice on dealing with fraud and scam attempts, contact Cynthia Nield at or 902 423 1300, x346.