The Solicitors Regulation Authority has made its second warning in a week about fraudsters targeting firms posing as the regulator.

Reports have been received by the SRA saying that practices have been sent messages purporting to be about pending investigations.

Once again the regulator has asked solicitors not to open attachments but has admitted there is little it can do to stop the emails.

A spokesman said: ‘The matter has again been reported to appropriate authorities for investigation, and will also be investigated internally. The information scammers are using is freely available in the public domain and there is nothing the SRA can do to prevent these emails being sent.’

The messages are similar in nature and appearance to emails sent last week, when scammers tried to infect computer systems with a virus.

The SRA then urged firms to improve their cybersecurity, and again it has asked firms to take extra care identifying genuine SRA messages.

Anyone receiving messages that do not end with should forward them to the SRA and then delete them. Firms are advised to notify their bank and IT provider if attachments have been opened.

Following last week’s emails, the SRA contact centre took 724 calls in one and a half hours on the subject – at one point having 50 callers queuing in the system.

The SRA has been in touch with the National Fraud Agency and will update on the investigation at tomorrow’s board meeting.