The number of scams targeting lawyers seems to be multiplying, with the State Bar of Texas recently warning its members to be on the lookout for fake bar association representatives.
Members of both the Tarrant and Lubbock County bars have reportedly received calls from people who claim to be “from the bar association,” asking for credit card information after explaining that they must pay their dues immediately, or renew their bar cards.
One scammer even offered a free section membership.
As recent as March the ABA Journal ran an article on other scams targeting lawyers.
Common scams include fake real estate transactions involving overseas clients; law firm impersonators sending out fraudulent checks or attempting to collect on non-existent debts; and letters asking attorneys to help transfer or collect funds.
In addition to reminding your employees to be extra-vigilant with cybersecurity, it may be time for a refresher course on the more traditional types of scams.
This includes not sharing credit card information with callers, holding onto funds until checks clear, and thoroughly vetting business associates.
If these scams have popped up in your region, it is also a good idea to inform your clients about their existence.
A letter explaining what they should look for, and that they should feel free to call you if they come across any suspicious activity could prevent both you and your client from being victimized.
After all, since scams targeting lawyers are often scams targeting legal clients, it might be within your ethical obligations to do so.
- Texas Lawyers Warned About Scam Phone Calls (ABA Journal)
- Phish In a Barrel: Lawyers Netted by Email Scam (FindLaw’s Strategist)
- Online Security for Small Law Firms: Control Employee Web Usage (FindLaw’s Strategist)