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Scam Alert from the BBB! Fake Attorney Website Sparks FBI Investigation

The FBI & the BBB are warning attorneys and their clients to be on the lookout for scam websites

Be extra careful when hiring a lawyer, or you could end up giving away personal information and money to a scam artist. The FBI is warning attorneys and their clients to be on the lookout for scam websites that use real lawyers’ information to cheat people seeking legal services.  

How the Scam Works: 

The FBI is currently investigating a case in Texas where scammers set up a fake website in the name of a retired attorney. They used her maiden name, former office address and portions of her biography to create a believable site.  

The Texas case is not an isolated incident, and other attorneys have complained about the use of their names and professional information to solicit legal work. Although the fake website is a new twist, scammers have long been known to impersonate law firms and call members of the public attempting to collect debts.  

I Think I’ve Found a Scam. What Should I Do? 

  • As a consumer, if you have a question about whether you are dealing with a legitimate attorney, please contact your state or local bar association. http://bit.ly/NGDHLI.  They can provide you with the real contact information for a lawyer in your area.
  • Lawyers, if you spot a suspicious use of your name and/or law firm, immediately report the incident to local authorities, your state bar, http://bit.ly/Vkzcaj  and the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx
  • For More Information: For updates about the FBI’s investigation into the lawyer impersonation scam, please see the “E-Scams and Warnings” section of FBI.org.  http://1.usa.gov/Ulqn21

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Lori T. Williams September 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Thanks for the warning. I'll post this on my Company Facebook page (Your Legal Resource), in order to alert more people. There have been many scam emails from "pretend clients" trying to get attorneys to accept their case and they try to defraud the attorney out of money using a fake money order or other means of payment that is bogus and actually costs the attorney in time and money. It's a shame that clients and attorneys are the target of internet scammers. They have also preyed on financial advisors. Today, everyone needs to be more careful than ever of online predators and scammers. I get at least 10 scam emails a day from "pretend clients".
Better Business Bureau September 24, 2012 at 12:11 PM
Thanks Lori - glad to hear you are on top of these things and are helping others to be as well!

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