Scam Website Assails Retired Attorney
FBI investigation underway
The Federal Bureau of Investigations issued a warning to attorneys, clients and anyone looking for a legal counsel to be extra careful about giving out personal information over the Internet. There are thieves looking to steal form people seeking legal services. The warning follows the discovery of a scam website setup to collect user information by misusing the identity of a retired Texas attorney.
The scam used information about the retired attorney and created a website designed to collect personal information and money from visitors. The Texas attorney had not practiced in years but the fake law firm website used the attorney's maiden name and former office address. The scam site included information taken from the lawyer's professional biography. The FBI has collected complains from other attorneys about the misuse of their names and professional information to solicit legal work.
When you plan to hire a lawyer, be extra careful about who you give information to by checking out the website and making a confirmation phone call to the firm in question. Be sure to double-check the number given on a website with a phone book or online directory, as it could put you in contact with the scammers. To find out if you are dealing with a legitimate attorney, please contact your state or local bar association. They can provide you with the real contact information for a lawyer in your area.
If you believe you have found an online scam or fake website, you should immediately report the incident to local authorities, your state Bar, and the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
The fake website is a new twist but scammers have long been known to impersonate law firms and call members of the public attempting to collect debts. If you are a lawyer and spot a suspicious use of your name and/or law firm, immediately report the incident to local authorities, your state bar, and the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Published October 4, 2012