For quite some time now the UK legal sector has been facing a bit of a fraud issue and what they are calling Friday afternoon fraud. Friday afternoon fraud as the name suggests prominently happens on Friday. However, this does not mean the fraud is exclusive to that day. According to a The Law Society article, it would appear that hijacking communications seem to be a predominant way that fraudsters can get ahold of funds,
“Days before John Doe’s new warning appeared, Mr X was in the final stages of buying a flat in south London. Mr X had appointed John Doe & Sons as his conveyancing solicitors and was now preparing to complete.
When any employee can jeopardise your firm’s security with a single careless mouse-click, it should be clear that mitigating information security risks is about far more than implementing processes, and installing antivirus and anti-malware programs. A more proactive approach is needed.
On Thursday 29 September 2016, Mr X transferred £45,000 over to John Doe’s account. The money was the first tranche of a total of £119,837 he’d eventually need to transfer.
Mr X had expected the transfer to be swift, but was promptly informed the £45,000 could take up to three days to clear. Knowing the total needed to be with the solicitors before completion, Mr X emailed the practice asking how he could get the rest of the money – a total of £74,837 – to them before deadline day. Unfortunately, the conversation was hijacked.”
Fraud is one of those industries that unfortunately never takes a day off. Luckily as AI is becoming more mainstream for fraud prevention incidences like Friday afternoon fraud should be on the decline however it is still up two individuals to always remain vigilant and question any suspicious digital activity before there one click makes a colossal mistake.