Emails to law firms purporting to come from an anti-solicitor website are scams and may contain harmful computer viruses, the Law Society warned today.

The emails appear to be the latest in a series of 'phishing' attacks on solicitors using contact details harvested from public sources.

The Society said that it has been contacted by firms who have all received an email purporting to be from the website SolicitorsfromHell.net and containing the following threat: 'In the last few days we have been in contact with a former client of your law firm. He claims, and in our opinion, it clearly shows that you lack the respect and dedication you claim to show all your clients.'

The email claims to attach the client's letter, with the message: 'You can see exactly what we will publish; we did, however, covered (sic) all private data, i.e. contact details and transaction details. The article will be showed on our website starting with tomorrow morning.'

The Society said that, whilst the email may indicate new activity by Solicitors from Hell (SfH), it could also be a case of 'phishing' - using an email to trick recipients into opening an attachment which contains a virus.  

'Such phishing could be done by a third party unconnected to SfH,' the Society said. 

'We are also keeping an eye on the SfH website to see if there is indeed any publishing of complaints. None has appeared to date, but a close watch is being kept and the situation will be re-appraised if there is any new activity on the SfH website, and an update provided accordingly.'

Earlier this year law firms were the targets of emails claiming to be from the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Law Society but with attachments containing viruses. The Society says that attachments from suspect sources should not be opened, forwarded or downloaded, but deleted. 

Further information is available on the Law Society site.

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