It has been brought to the Cape Law Society’s attention that an email titled “The Cape Law Society Past Due Members Invoice” has been disseminated to a number of members. The email contains a link to what appears to be a pdf file (purportedly the outstanding membership fee invoice).
Members are urged to please ignore the communication as it does not emanate from the Cape Law Society and is in fact a scam or phishing type mail. The Society is presently engaging with its service providers in an effort to ascertain the source of the email in question.
The Society will be distributing membership invoices with respect to membership subscription fees at the end of June 2016 or the first week of July 2016.
Some tips in recognising phishing/scam/fraudulent emails are as follows:
• in the email that has been sent to members, the email is reflected as "invoice.dept(AT)outlook.com", in some situations only a name is displayed as opposed to an address. It is always important to check the address from which email originates. If only a name is displayed, then hover the mouse over the name and the email address will be reflected. If for example, the mail claims to be from the Cape Law Society, however the email address bears no reference to the Cape Law Society, then that is an immediate alert that the communication is potentially fraudulent. With the aforementioned address, you will note that the Society’s domain capelawsoc.law.za, does not appear anywhere in the address;
• a spam email 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 emails usually invoke some form of “threat” as is the case with the email sent, 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;
• general rule of thumb is to not click on a link contained in the body of an email, 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, for eg if one hovers on the link of the mail sent regarding membership fees, there is no reference at all to capelawsoc.law.za (see below screenshot); and
• if in doubt, rather verify if an email is legitimate with the organisation/entity, claiming to have sent it, prior to taking any further action as may be required in the email.
You are also encouraged to ensure that you have relevant anti-virus programmes in place, which usually contain aspects of spam ware and malware protection.
The Cape Law Society
Tel: (021) 443 6700
Fax: (021) 443 6751/2