The e-mail scam for lawyers

/ 09.Nov, 2011

We have written before about the interesting ways e-mail scammers have been targeting lawyers.  In my e-mail bin this morning was the following scam e-mail from an Australian IP address:

I am in need of your service with regards to enforcement/collection of divorce settlement or possible litigation with my ex spouse. Kindly advise.  -Brianna Shunshi

This is a classic example of the type of scam that was used by Emmanuel Ekhator to fleece lawyers to the tune of $31 million.  It is important to be aware of the existence of these scams.  The difficulty with this scam is that the checks written by the scammers to your firm will clear before the fraud is detected.  Even prudent (ethical) attorneys who wait for the checks to clear can be caught up in these scams.  Be careful of the cases you take, and be particularly careful of clients who send you more money than you ask for.  As we all know, clients do not generally send more money than is requested, and it is a serious red flag pointing towards a possible scam.

-Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire