As reported in, prominent U.K. law firm Linklaters was recently the victim of a spoofing attack through Facebook’s WhatsApp messaging service. Linklaters, founded in 1838, employs nearly 3,000 attorneys, spread out over 31 offices in 21 countries. Fraudsters spoofed Linklaters using WhatsApp, advising targeted persons of a fictitious business transaction, and encouraging them to call a false telephone number to speak with a Linklaters lawyer.

This incident is indicative of fraudsters’ expansion into more consumer-oriented messaging services to carry out their scams in the guise of legitimate law firms. We are increasingly wary of informal messages from senders purporting to be a (or even our) financial institution. However, we are not accustomed to getting fraudulent messages through an informal messaging app that appears to come from a legitimate and trusted law firm. As we have previously noted, if there is a new path to riches, villains will find and travel it.

Check out our series, Privacy Perils, to learn what steps you can take to guard your personal and company data. For more information about this topic and other cyber security concerns, please contact a member of our Privacy & Data Security team.