October 2, 2017
Fake Trust Account Auditor Scam
ALIA has learned of a new scam being perpetrated on lawyers in another jurisdiction. In this scam, the fraudster attempts to gain access to lawyers’ trust accounts by claiming to be an auditor from the Law Society.

In one example, a caller claimed to represent an entity named "Small Business Growth Alliance" and advised the lawyers that their trust accounts were due for audit. In another version of the scam, the caller claimed to be from the Law Society. In each case, the caller tried to schedule an audit and requested that all trust account information be made available to them.

Although the Law Society of Alberta does audit lawyers’ trust accounts, it does not retain third-party providers to conduct such audits. ALIA does not audit trust accounts.

If the Law Society selects you for an audit, you will be advised of it directly by the Law Society. Notice will be provided in a letter delivered to you by email. That letter details the timeframe and the requirement of the audit, and is signed by the Manager, Trust Safety for the Law Society of Alberta. The letter also contains the name of the auditor, the auditor’s email address
(ending in: “@lawsociety.ab.ca”) and the auditor’s direct phone number.

Action to be taken:

If you are contacted by anyone purporting to be conducting an audit of your trust accounts, please confirm their credentials by contacting Trust Safety via email or phone at 403.228.5632. Alternatively, you may contact the Law Society of Alberta at 403.229.4700.

Further, if you receive communications from any unauthorized person seeking to audit your trust account, please send an email to the ALIAlert mailbox and, if possible, provide the potential fraudster’s contact information.

The Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (ALIA) provides the ALIAlert service to all Alberta lawyers participating in the insurance program. If you believe that you have been targeted by potential fraudulent activity, please contact ALIAlert so that we may alert other members of the profession and avoid losses that increase the cost of everyone’s insurance.