How To Scam A Lawyer

For some years now, some clever scam artists have bilked many otherwise bright and clever lawyers out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.  I myself have received this same email dozens of times.  They always go like this: "Hi, my ex lives in your jurisdiction (note the scammers never actually name your state or city).  He will pay $500,000 to settle a divorce.  I live in Japan, Malaysia, Hong Kong (always the far Pacific area). We just need an attorney willing to assist us."  They sometimes use poor grammar or mis-spell words.  But, otherwise, this is how the email goes.

The careless lawyer, or sometime the careful lawyer than responds.  Eventually, the scammer sends a fraudulent check for $500,000 or so.  The attorney is expected to take his share from the one big check.  The attorney finds this project appealing because they promise a large share in return for little more than transferring checks.  Attorneys always have a Trust account in which they deposit monies belonging to clients or others.  Client funds go first in the lawyer's trust account.  The scammer cooks up some reason why they must have their share immediately - before the check hs fully sleared.  Before the lawyer understands what is happening, they have lost, in some cases hundreds of thousands of dollars.  See ABA newsletter.  Note the Houston lawyer who relied on Citibank's assurance that the forged check was valid. 

On a few occasions, I have received virtually identical emails within a week's time from supposedly two or three different countries.  These scammer promise tens of thousands of dollars in return for just a few hours of work.  It is too good to be true. This must be "globalization" internet style.....

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