LAWPRO is seeing an increase in spear fishing email frauds targeting lawyers and law firms. The spearfishing messages we are seeing are very sophisticated. They include information personalized for the firm. Spear fishing messages are created to appear that they are from senior partners or management and they are being sent to senior financial staff. Messages are intended to trick the recipient into making a payment or transferring funds to someone outside the firm.

You can learn more about spear phishing attacks in the LAWPRO Magazine article Don’t take the bait on a spear phishing attack.

A sample of the typical communications we see on a fishing attempt appears below. In this case, the email appeared to come from a firm partner, with the correct address showing in the “From:” line, but all replies were actually going to an address ending The email from the fraudsters are in italics, and the replies from the firm accountant are in bold.

From: [what appears to be from a partner at the firm]
To: Firm accountant
Subject: request

Hi [accountant’s first name],

I need you to process an outgoing wire transfer, let me know when you are available so i can have the account information sent to you.


{partner first name]

From: Firm accountant
To: Partner name [but not real partner address]
Subject: RE: request

I am here today please send me the details


From: Partner name
To: Firm accountant
Subject: RE: request

Please process a transfer of $18,580 USD to the beneficiary details below,

Beneficiary Name: Anthony Switzer
Address: 7952 North Lincoln ave. Skokie,Illinois,60077
Bank Name: Bank of America
Bank Address: :341 Custer ave.#3Evanston,Illinois 60202
Account Number: 291016565050
Routing Number: 081904808

Code the payment as “Business Expenditure” and let me know once its done.

From: Firm accountant
To: [Partner name]
Subject: RE: request
What file #

From: Partner name
To: Firm accountant
Subject: RE: request

I will send you the file # later as i don’t have the complete details here with me.
Let me know when it is processed

If you have been targeted by this or other type of frauds, please forward any of the emails and supporting documents that you have received to [email protected]. We use this information for the warnings we post on AvoidAClaim. We do not disclose the names of firms that have provided us with information.

Categories: Fraud Prevention