This may be bittersweet, scamming lawyers, but lawyers are people too and don’t deserve to be duped by a criminal. Recently a large law firm in Denver, Colorado was almost a victim of a major scam.
Because of the bad economy and the sophistication of counterfeiting cashier’s checks, a scam artist tried to rip off this law firm. Last month the law firm received an email from a potential client living in Japan. The woman claimed that she was trying to collect money from her ex-husband who lives in Colorado. The email said that they were divorced in 2003 and that a “huge” settlement was still outstanding. She wanted to collect this amount from him. After six weeks of on-line correspondence, the scam artist sent a cashier’s check for $197,000 to the law firm claiming it was from her ex-husband’s part of the settlement. She asked the law firm to deposit the check, keep a retainer fee and wire her the difference.
Of course, the cashier’s check is phony and whatever real money she receives from the law firm is her easy money to keep. This scam is very smooth and very professional and unfortunately law firms nationwide are falling for this cyber-scam.
Even law firms are hungry for business during this poor economy. That’s why scammers are targeting law firms in hope of cashing in. Lessons learned from this scam is to never cash suspicious looking checks and never wire funds to unknown clients. Once again if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. The FBI has issued a nationwide alert regarding this type of law firm scam.