Lawyers get Scammed Too!

It seems that even ‘those who should know better’ are fair game when it comes to the ubiquitous email scam – lawyers are being targeted for particularly high stakes, on-off counterfeit check scams, solicited via email. The California Bar Journal has provided a nice graphic to show how the scam works.

Progress of a Scam (California Bar Journal)

In a recent example, an unnamed and presumably embarrassed lawyer in California came within a gnats whisker of losing $200,000 when he wired $183,000 to a Hong Kong bank account after receiving a check that his bank

“I feel stupid now that I wire transferred the money before confirming that the check was good,” says the San Francisco attorney, who quickly transferred the client trust account funds because the client said he needed them urgently to pay off a supplier. “I’ve learned to be very careful when I’m contacted by e-mail by potential clients”.

What sets this apart from the simple check scams commonly seen is that the scammers used knowledge of the banking clearing system to their advantage, changing the routing numbers on the check to cause enough confusion for the scam to complete before it was found out. Banks will commonly ‘help out’ trusted lawyers, even advancing large sums of money before checks have had time to clear.  It seems to me some innovation needs to occur in the clearing process worldwide before this type of scam is combated.

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One thought on “Lawyers get Scammed Too!

  1. A great Attorney should dedicate their company in providing professional legal services to individuals and businesses of all sizes at the same time in many of areas. Ensuring the firm covers a wide range of cases involving all levels of complexity is key to legal success.

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