How to Detect and Prevent Money Scams


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How to detect and prevent money scams that law firms fall prey to - practical tips/ethical responsibilities

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How to Detect and Prevent Money Scams

  1. 1. How to Detect andPrevent Money Scams:Practical Tips andEthical ResponsibilitiesAmber Hollister – Oregon State BarBeverly Michaelis – Professional Liability Fund
  2. 2. The Overseas E-mailSolicitation
  3. 3. The Out-of-State Lawyer
  4. 4. The Web Site Contact Form
  5. 5. Tell-Tale Signs of a Scam1. Not specifically addressed2. Short on details3. Outside your practice area4. Sender unknown
  6. 6. Tell-Tale Signs of a Scam5. Originates from free service6. Documents too simple7. Inconsistent information8. Pirated graphics
  7. 7. You Might Fall for a Scam If … “I found you in a legal directory” “Lawyer referral gave me your name” The parties are in Oregon Your concerns are placated
  8. 8. The Client Impersonator
  9. 9. The Scam CallerI’m sorry but yourbar card has expiredand yourmembership duesmust be paidimmediately.
  10. 10. DO NOT1. Accept excuses regarding e-mail2. Believe in miracle debt payments3. Wire proceeds
  11. 11.  Verify facts Reserve the right to hold funds Wait for funds to clear Understand banking practicesDO
  12. 12.  Check Web site analytics Call the Bar or PLF Protect your information Know how to spot counterfeit checksDO
  13. 13. o www.scamwarners.como http://lawyerscam.blogpost.como www.oregonconsumer.govo MONITOR SCAM SITES
  14. 14. YES Deposit toAccount of PayeeBank of OregonFor Deposit OnlyJane AttorneyAccount 233-56678NO
  15. 15. Avoiding Counterfeit Checks Words and numbers match Account number is not shiny Signature not traced Check is not altered in any way
  16. 16. Ethics Q & A
  17. 17. Disbursing Uncollected Funds Duty to safeguard Overdraft notification
  18. 18. Verifying the StoryDo I need client consent todisclose the facts?
  19. 19. Lost IOLTA Checks1. Duty to safeguard client property2. Who pays the fee?
  20. 20. Help! My new client wants to wirefunds into my IOLTA account…Receiving Wire Transfers
  21. 21. If Client Funds are Taken…
  22. 22. Duty of Confidentiality Lawyer-client relationship Report to law enforcement
  23. 23. Federal Trade Commissionwww.ftc.govInternet Crime Complaint Centerwww.ic3.govNational Fraud Information Centerwww.fraud.orgReporting Scams