It has been brought to the Cape Law Society’s (CLS) attention that an email titled ‘The Cape Law Society Past Due Members Invoice’ has been disseminated to a number of members. The e-mail contains a link to what appears to be a pdf file (purportedly the outstanding membership fee invoice).
Members are urged please to ignore the communication as it does not emanate from CLS and is in fact a scam or phishing-type mail. The CLS is presently engaging with its service providers in an effort to ascertain the source of the email in question.
The CLS is membership invoices with respect to membership subscription fees at the end of June 2016 or the first week of July 2016.
Some tips to recognise phishing/scam/fraudulent e-mails
- In the email that has been sent to members, the e-mail is reflected as email@example.com. In some situations only a name is displayed as opposed to an address. It is always important to check the address from which e-mail originates. If only a name is displayed, then hover the mouse over the name and the e-mail address will be reflected. If, for example, the e-mail claims to be from the CLS, however the email address bears no reference to the CLS, then that is an immediate alert that the communication is potentially fraudulent. With the abovementioned address, you will note that the CLS domain capelawsoc.law.za, does not appear anywhere in the address;
- A spam e-mail often contains words that are incorrectly spelt or an out-of-the-ordinary phrase – for instance, in the communication that has been sent to members, it is addressed ‘Dear Barrister’.
- These fraudulent types of e-mails usually invoke some form of ‘threat’ as is the case with the e-mail sent, where there is a threat of termination of privileges as a member of the Cape Law Society; similarly the subject line also includes some form of urgent or threatening language.
- The general rule of thumb is to not click on a link contained in the body of an e-mail. However if you are certain that the link is legitimate, hover the mouse over the link to ensure that it has reference to the domain of the organisation from which it is being sent, eg, if one hovers on the link of the e-mail sent regarding membership fees, there is no reference at all to capelawsoc.law.za; and
- If in doubt, rather verify if an e-mail is legitimate with the organisation/entity claiming to have sent it, prior to taking any further action as may be required in the e-mail.
- You are also encouraged to ensure that you have relevant antivirus programmes in place which usually contain aspects of spamware and malware protection.
Should you have any further enquiries, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org