Attorney scams to be everywhere. Running a law firm is a lot of work but can be very rewarding when you find out you are helping people. When someone contacts us and says they have family court in the morning (super late notice) and we can meet the demand, it feels good. However, being a law firm attracts some bad people as well.
Attorney scams are fraudsters that target law firms hoping to get access to the trust accounts. Below is a common email we get. Even though the client name and passport were fake, I have changed the information.
Both scams we have received have been from people that claim to be South Korean women. It is likely the passports were stolen, maybe somewhere in Nigeria?
Attorney scams really annoy me because they are trying to take advantage of smart people (lawyers.) How many lawyers actually fall for this?!
Attorney Scam #1
My name is Mr. Kim. I am writing you this email in respect of the email I got from my ex-wife Rebecca. I know that there has been some default on my side to keep to the “Settlement agreement” and remit funds to my ex as I agreed upon. But due to the economic meltdown, I am unable to keep to this agreement. Please I do not want to go to court or face any form of litigation. Please pause all legal action at the moment
Therefore, in regard of your client, I am willing to send you partial payment of $385,972.80 from the few savings that I have to avoid litigation. I intend to pay the balance in couple of weeks from the day of my first disbursement to you. Please be considerate and accept my offer. If the payment is not received at your end has promise then you can go ahead with the legal action. As I will keep to my promised for the balanced l Own, please forward below your mail address information to receive the partial payment.
As I will keep to my promised for the balanced l Own, advanced said information below to proceed with the first payment:
Your full name as it will appear on the Check
Please indicate your Bank Name:
They always start with small requests. But sure enough, the conversation switches to our law firms trust account. And why would they be sending me an email asking me for my full name? And why are they going to make a cheque out to me personally? Not my law firm in trust?
Here is another example of an attorney fraud:
I am contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement with my ex husband. I will be grateful for your assistance or a referral if this is not your area of practice.
(They don’t know if we do divorce even though our website talks about family law everywhere.)
Attorney Scams message 2:
Thanks for your response to my inquiry. Please bear with me Calling oversea from south Korea is very high and expensive, so i can not call on the phone for 30,60 to 90 for so long with your firm it will be very high over here, please i will Would love your office to proceed just by email, or you can call me can add all charges to the retainer agreement letter.
Am a Citizen of South Korea and my ex-spouse is a Canada citizen (Ontario Canada). We were divorced in South Korea but my ex-husband relocated to the Canada.
I request your legal services to enforce the court order compelling him to remit balance owed me
Below is my name and the opposing parties information and attached is the copy of the judgment obtain and separation Agreement for your review, Please run a conflict check, and advice us on your standard retainer fee and forward your retainer letter for signing.
My Full Name: xxx Kim
My Mobile Number:xxxx
Ex-husband full name: xxx Kim
Ex husband email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward working with you on this matter,
Attorney Scams Message 3:
Thanks for the update notify me that my Ex husband is responding to payment through your help, this is good news, please proceed
i remain unwavering in this potential legal matter because he has made such promises hitherto, .Since he relocated to is country two years ago after the Divorce, but he keep promising and failed to pay has he promise , My ex-spouse has the capacity to pay the funds, but it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect this payment from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised. Please once you have receive the partial payment deposit it and deduct your fee from the sum, He promise to pay the balance within couple of weeks.
Please we should pause all legal action at the moment, lets wait 5 to 10 business days if the payment is not received at your end, we will go ahead with the legal action.
Tell me what to do. Thanks
As you can see, it’s all nonsense. The client is willing to willing to fill out a retainer agreement (without payment information) and provide a fake and/or stolen passport.
The first attorney scam were actually responded:
We have requested that the first cheque will come into our office, by January 31 (this Thursday), to be paid into our Ontario trust acct.
Once we receive said cheque, we will keep our flat fee payment, inclusive of disbursements and taxes, in the amount of $11,550.00. We will then provide you with the remainder of funds from this first installment immediately. Once we receive the first cheque, I will provide you with an email with more details and we can discuss whether you would like to come pick up the cheque or have this mailed to you. I would suggest picking up the cheque in person, given that is is a large sum of money.
In moving forward, the next installments can come into our trust account and then be paid out in full to you. If you prefer, we can request that they be mailed directly to you as well after this first installment is collected and for the remainder of payments. We can discuss this after receiving the first payment.
If you have any further questions let me know.
I will inform you once we have received the first cheque. I am hoping that he will provide us with same by this Thursday January 31, 2019, as requested.
Avoid attorney scams.
Author: Alistair Vigier
Read more about our law firm: Ways To End A Contract