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VSB warns of spoof emails to lawyers

Some Virginia lawyers have received emails that – at first glance – appeared to come from leadership at the Virginia State Bar. VSB officials say the emails in question, which contain messages critical of the VSB, are the work of an outsider.

The bar first alerted lawyers to the issue in December, saying an email was sent to lawyers with the sender’s address suggesting a connection with the VSB.

The email was not from an official @vsb.org account, the bar said.

Another round of emails appeared to come from “director@ vsbgov.org,” the bar said in January. Again, the bar said the address was a spoof apparently intended to convey an official origin.

Some of the messages called for a state legislative audit of the VSB. One appeared to be critical of a lack of diversity.

VSB Executive Director Karen Gould said the emails did not come from her office and the VSB does not know who sent them.

“Once they read it, it’s clear this is just a scam or a spoof and not from the Virginia State Bar itself,” she said.

She said she has not heard from anyone who took the messages as official bar communications. “Pretty much people are just annoyed about it,” she said.

Updated Feb. 15 to clarify the purported sender address of the suspect emails.