Check Scams Continue to Plague Lawyers

We first warned Oregon lawyers about fraudulent check scams four years ago, but as they say “everything old is new again.”

To avoid becoming a victim of a scam, follow these tips:

  • Trust your instincts
  • Recognize that scammers impersonate legitimate businesses
  • Appreciate that the debtor (your opposing party) and the creditor (your client) may be conspiring together to take your money
  • Be aware that scams come in all forms (collection of back child support, business debts, real estate transactions)
  • Verify referral sources
  • Join the Oregon Attorney General’s Oregon Scam Alert Network

Do not:

  • Accept the client’s explanation that you can only communicate by e-mail because of the time difference or lack of a translator
  • Assume the collection effort is legitimate because the debtor appears to be a real business based in your state
  • Trust debtors who send you a check before you have taken any steps to collect the debt on behalf of your client
  • Take for granted that cashier’s checks or money orders are automatically safe

Follow the suggestions in these articles and blog posts:

Sheila Blackford, “Check Scams Becoming More Sophisticated.”

Kim Nam, “Check Scams Target Lawyers.”

Helen Hierschbiel, “Scammers Take Aim at Lawyers: How to Avoid Becoming the Next Victim.”

Leonard D. DuBoff and Christy O. King, “Lawyers Beware – Avoiding the Scams.”

Beverly Michaelis, “Check Scams – Alive and Well in Oregon.”

Beverly Michaelis, “Check Scams – More to Know.”

Beverly Michaelis, “Just in Time for the Holidays: A New E-Mail Scam

Beverly Michaelis, “Can You Spell S-C-A-M?”

Copyright 2012 Beverly Michaelis

2 thoughts on “Check Scams Continue to Plague Lawyers

  1. Pingback: New Counterfeit Check Scam Targeting Lawyers « Oregon Law Practice Management

  2. Pingback: The Year in Review – Useful Tips You May Have Missed « Oregon Law Practice Management

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