We've recently been given information about a new type of scam directed at both lawyers and their clients. We're sending this update because the scam is directly linking attorneys and their clients.
Here's how the scam works:
- The client receives a phone call.
- The caller ID shows the number belongs to the attorney.
- The client is told that they need to pay additional money.
- The client is then given a toll-free number to call.
- When the client calls, they are directed as to how to pay the money.
The scam works through a process called "Caller ID Spoofing." "Spoofing" allows a caller to create a new caller ID for their phone. Previous "spoofing" scams, for example, have involved callers using a number that belongs to the IRS.
What makes this especially troubling is that the scammers have linked the attorney with the client. While this information may be publicly available through court documents, we have not seen it used in this way. Arecent case involveda bankruptcy court and the client was told they needed to pay more money to a creditor. Fortunately, the scam was caught in time and no money was lost.
Attorneys should consider advising clients about the potential for this type of scam and to make sure they double check before any additional money is sent. If this happens to you and your client, please file a report with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center at http://www.ic3.gov.