Welcome to the AIIF
The AIIF is a non-profit company, which is currently managed by Aon. The main objective of the AIIF is to protect the public by providing professional indemnity insurance cover to all attorneys practices.
The insurance cover is currently provided at no cost to practitioners and we believe that this facility is quite unique. We know of no other jurisdiction where cover is provided to professionals at no cost to them. The cover is purchased on behalf of practitioners by means of an annual premium paid by the AFF.
The AIIF’s Board of Directors is comprised of members of the attorneys’ profession and the insurance industry. The current members are: A F W Peters (Chair), E M Southey, C P Fourie, E A Moolla, H C van Rooyen, H K Dlepu, M A A S Essa, M A de Roos (Acting Managing Director) M J Haken and S Mgxaji.
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM THE ATTORNEYS FIDELITY FUND
FOR URGENT ATTENTION: FRAUDSTERS TARGETING ATTORNEY TRUST ACCOUNTS
Kindly take careful note and ensure that your bookkeeping staff is notified accordingly
Fraud syndicates continue to make attempts at defrauding practitioners.The modus operandi is as follows:
- the fraudster deposits a stolen cheque into a practitioner’s trust account;
- the fraudster contacts the practitioner and purports to be an employee of the Attorneys Fidelity Fund (to allay suspicion) and explains that the deposit was made in error;
- the fraudster requests that the practitioner pay the money back by electronic transfer, into a bank account which is purportedly a Fidelity Fund account (the account will in fact belong to the fraudster; opened using a stolen ID document);
- the amount credited to the practitioners trust account (via the stolen cheque) will be reversed by the bank once it becomes clear that the deposit is fraudulent.If the practitioner did pay out against this deposit s/he will have fallen victim to the scam.
The success of this scam relies upon the fact that the onus is on the practitioner to ensure that the recipient account actually belongs to the payee.When an electronic transfer is made, the bank does not match the payee account number with an account name.
The Fund is not legally empowered to assist practitioners who fall victim to fraud. The Fund is, however, concerned that its name is being associated with fraud attempts and is making every effort to apprehend the perpetrators.
The reality is that scams of this nature are very common (often using the names of respected institutions; SARS is one example).Fraud associated with banking technology is the fastest-growing area of fraud in the developed world.It follows that, even if the Fund should be fortunate enough to apprehend the current perpetrators, the fraud attempts are likely to continue.The scale of these attempts is of such magnitude that there is a high probability that every practitioner will, at some stage, be approached by the fraudsters. Please be alert to this risk, and review your payment processes to ensure that your practice does not fall victim to fraud.
Please click here to read the judgment of Du Plessis J in Jaco Johan Roestof v Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr Inc regarding the duties of practitioners in relation to their trust accounts.
5th Floor, Waalburg Building, 28 Wale Street, Cape Town
P.O. Box 3062, Cape Town 8000, Docex 149
Tel (021) 422 2830 Fax (021) 422 2990