Guide to Scams
Law, Lawyers, Law Firm Related Scams
A scam is a deceptive or fraudulent business scheme, related to swindles, cons, fraud and the like. The most common intent of the scam artist or con artist is to obtain money, property and/or goods through illegal or deceitful means. The different types and categories are virtually limitless and the internet is rife with them.
Some con artists make a practice of using the good name of legitimate businesses to further their fraudulent activities. They contact their potential marks using the name of reputable law firms, attorneys, barristers, lawyers, solicitors, etc. They often reference the actual physical address of the legal professional they are illegally impersonating, but include their own contact phone number and email information. Some even go so far as to set up “dummy” websites with the legitimate law firm’s information but the scam artist’s own contact phone numbers and email addresses. It can be difficult to identify these people due to their use of actual lawyers and law firms. However, if you follow the tips below and adhere to the rule of thumb, it will assist you in avoiding these scams. For information on known legal impersonator con artists, see Scammers Impersonating Legal Professionals.
Scam artists typically rely on their marks’ naïveté, compassion, desperation, vanity, and even greed and dishonesty to accomplish their nefarious goals. One thing to always be wary of, is any company, organization or individual that contacts you, unsolicited, and promises you money, gifts and wealth; especially by way of an unknown party, inheritance, sweepstakes or contest.
The best rule of thumb to go by is “If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” If you don’t know these people and they are offering you money, you should suspect a scam. And often, it is as simple as entering a bit of information into an internet search engine to identify it as such. Below are a number of links to online sites which work to identify scams and warn potential victims of their existence. Copyright HG.org
Known Legal Impersonator Scams
By impersonating actual lawyers, these scammers attempt to boost their credibility with their potential victims. It can be difficult to identify these people due to their use of actual lawyers and law firms.
Learn about some known Legal Impersonator Scams below.
BARRISTER OSLU JONATHAN ESQ
Add star Oslu Jonathanoslu2282215720@gmail.com
Tue, Feb 23, 2016 at 4:53 AM
I appreciate your response, and I believe we must archive this goal once we're able to tell ourselves the truth to avoid making mistakes. Go ahead and contact your lawyer, if possible give him my contact number to contacts me anytime, here is my contact number once again: 22898673657.
And also do not fail to visit my embassy in your country to make proper inquiry about me. I nurse same fears of betrayal like you having met each other through one of the most abused means of communication being the Internet that has repeated history of abuses over the years. To allay each parties fears of the unknown,
I will suggest where you make out your time and come down here in person and see the reality for yourself. You might not in any way be related to the deceased client and our chances of success are not based on similarity of names or blood ties but on the fact that he died without leaving a will or who should inherit the fund. You have my guarantee once more that whatever information you supplied are in safe hands and will never be exposed to any transaction that will be of detriment to your hard earned reputation / image. It is my Bond. To reinforce your faith that the fund is both legitimate and clean,
I hereby extend my invitation to you to come down in person and process the claim under my honest and sincere guide. I do promise the best hospitality of our people down here on your arrival. The procedures of the transfer are very clear as listed below: Please be rest assured that the transaction is very safe, secured and legitimate.
I wait your final suggestion to know if you can make the trip as invited. I look forward to hearing from you With Kind Regards. BARRISTER OSLU JONATHAN ESQ. Senior Advocate, International Legal Practitioner
Honorable Young Ogbuefi (Benin)
Recently created a fake lawyer website www.ogbuefilawfirm.com with information taken from another legal website. Uses stolen US credit cards.
Letters Sent with an HG.org Logo by Fake Lawyer Ramon Pérez in Portugal
We are gathering information about a scam using the HG.org logo. The letters are sent by a fake lawyer office Ramon Pérez in Portugal and are posted in Valencia, Spain. The scammer requests 50-50 split on €7.5 million left in an account.
The email address used is email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Their phone number is + 351 920 026 396
Geni & Kebe is a legitimate law firm practicing in Dakar, Senegal.
Scammers have been using this law firm name as well as variations of the name to swindle unsuspecting victims. Most well-known is the use of “Gen & Kebe-Law Firm Attorneys”. They have even set up a dummy website, www.gen-kebe-law-firm.com to dupe their potential marks. This website includes information about the legitimate Geni & Kebe law firm and their lawyers, with the actual office address, but their own email address and phone number. On their About Us- Law Firm Overview page in the Practice Areas section they have included links to our HG.org directories displaying the listing for our legitimate law firm subscriber, Geni & Kebe.
These con artists generally send emails to their potential victims, referencing a “Miss Dora Bemba” claiming and offering substantial sums of money for assisting in transferring an inheritance or some variation of this theme.
Geni & Kebe is in no way associated or affiliated with these claims, schemes or offerings. Their actual and legitimate website is www.gsklaw.sn.
Illegal Impersonation of Kwame Agati
The Law Offices of Kwame Agati is a legitimate law firm practicing in Accra, Ghana.
Scammers have been using this law firm name as well as the names of the lawyers working for the firm to swindle unsuspecting victims. These con artists generally send emails to their potential victims, claiming they are associated with the Law Offices of Kwame Agati, and stating that the person contacted can claim a substantial amount of money as an estate beneficiary, usually from a U.S. decedent.
Con artists have also used the Kwame Agati name in Romance and Online Dating Schemes.
The Law Offices of Kwame Agati is in no way associated or affiliated with these claims, schemes or offerings. See their disclaimer at http://www.kwameagati.com/docs/fraud.html.
Texas Bar Association and Law Firm Impersonator Scammers
- Con artists impersonating lawyers from law firms in the Houston and Dallas, Texas areas are contacting individuals claiming that they have knowledge of debts owed and aggressively demanding payment.
- Scammers have been calling bar association members and asking for payments of dues. These individuals claim they are from the bar association and that the lawyer’s bar car is expiring and membership dues must be paid immediately.
- Unsolicited email requests for legal help collecting money or judgments. These con artists sometimes use identities stolen from actual professionals when making these requests.
- Use of a stolen identity to entice an innocent third-party realtor in a real estate transaction for a purported overseas client.
- Scam artists impersonating law firms issuing fake checks in an attempt to collect fees to clear said check.
Metromix - Xpress Legal Scam
A mail order scam group recently used the Metromix name and is contacting people telling them they've won a rewards program prize and will be given a check for thousands of dollars. This is a SCAM.
Alert - The scammers then send their "winner" a counterfeit check from Coppermark Bank, directing them to cash it and to pay taxes on the money they've won. Next, they ask their "winner" to send them money via Western Union to pay the tax bill. In reality, the check the scammers send for deposit is returned a week later as a fake check and the deposit is reversed. By this time their "winner" has already sent the scammers the tax payment and have lost their money.
Should you receive any similar "prize" notification with Metromix's name on it, please do not respond. Do not cash the scammers' fake check, and under no circumstances should you send them any money. The authorities have gotten involved to catch these scammers. If you receive a scam letter or have related questions, please contact us at email@example.com. Copyright from Metromix - Joe Rago
Additional Information about the scam:
The phone numbers of the scammers are 1 416 732 6310 in Ontario, Canada, 1 845 738 5655 and 206-350-9182.
They refer as Metromix Marketing Sweepstakes Division
They list themselves as:
Bruno Rosenburg or Paul Reynolds (President)
Shopper's Voice Consumer Research Centre is another scam organized by the same people http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/shopper039s-voice-consumer-research-centre-c261088.html
Attorney Trust Account Scams
These fraudulent schemes target lawyers, law firms and the banks where the attorneys hold their client trust accounts. There are variations on these schemes, but ultimately, the attorney’s trust account is used to accomplish the con.
Scammers contact the attorney via e-mail (usually from an overseas "client" or "attorney") that typically involves the claim of delinquent collections, a purported real estate transaction, or a similar matter that requires the receipt of funds into an attorney’s trust account. Within days of receiving the funds and depositing them to the trust account but before the check has cleared, the lawyer is asked to wire funds from the account. The lawyer only finds out later the check is fraudulent when the bank returns the check and the scammer has already debited the lawyer’s trust account.
Resources for Identifying Scams
- FBI – New E-Scams & Warnings
Information and warnings about recent e-scams identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
- Hot Scams
An international anti-scam website for reporting, sharing and dissemination of scam info.
- Known Legal Professional Impersonator Scams
Scams involving the impersonation of legal professional that HG.org is personally aware of.
- Ripoff Report
Consumer advocate site. . .the victims’ advocate, civil and human rights activists, Nationwide Consumer Reporting News Agency. . . by consumers, for consumers. The Ripoff Report forum allows consumers to speak out against companies, businesses, governments, and individuals who have treated them unfairly.
- Scam Check Station
Curious whether or not it’s a scam? Find out at the Internet ScamBusters Scam Check Station. Provides info and links regarding recent scams and helpful tips for recognizing and avoiding these schemes.
Yokohama, Japan software company that addresses spam and online fraud. Their online application allows users to copy/paste email received from suspected scammers to determine if it resembles a known scam.
Blog forum largely dedicated to identifying various scams, frauds and cons and warning potential victims. Includes the following scam categories: Internet; MLM/Pyramid; Religious; Nigerian; Work at Home; Medical; Investment; Corporate; Mail Order; Lottery; Government; Insurance; Mortgage; Retail; Charity; Use Car; Auction; Hotel; and Others.
- Snopes.com – Nigerian Scam, “4-1-9” or Advance Fee Fraud scheme
Letters/emails from a foreign nation are sent to addresses obtained from mailings lists. They promise large sums of money as a reward for helping officials of that government, bank, agency, etc., out of a dire situation or legal problem.
- USA.gov – Consumer Frauds and Scams
USA.gov was legislatively mandated through Section 204 of the E-Government Act of 2002. As the U.S. government's official web portal, USA.gov makes it easy for the public to get U.S. government information and services on the web. USA.gov also serves as the catalyst for a growing electronic government. The Consumer Frauds and Scams Section provides links and information about scams and how to avoid them, as well as specific information about current scams to be aware of.
List of Scammers Updated
- List of Scammers Who Contacted HG.org
This is a list of emails and phone numbers from scammers who contacted HG.org, using HG.org logo or name, or added HG.org to their emails. Should you be contacted by a scammer or spammer using the HG.org website, please contact us and we will publish their information.
Articles About Scams
- NYC Bureau of Fraud Investigation "Interviews" about MedicaidA letter from the NYC Bureau of Fraud Investigation means that you are the target of a fraud investigation. How you respond to the letter can mean the difference between a minor inconvenience and criminal charges. You should get advice from an experienced Medicaid lawyer before you speak to the investigator. Anything you say to the investigator can and will be used against you.
- Avoiding Criminal Charges at the NYC Bureau of Fraud Investigation for Medicaid FraudEvery year, hundreds of New Yorkers face criminal charges because they provided false information on their Medicaid application or re-certifications. Your case does not have to end this way. In fact, most Medicaid fraud investigations are settled with no criminal charges at all. The key is how you respond to the Medicaid fraud investigators.
- Yaz Settlement Recipients the Target of Green Dot Debit Card ScamClaiming to be from a settlement center, con-artists tell Yaz victims to send money to receive their settlements back.
- New Credit Card Law Pits Texas against Merchants and Financial CompaniesDuring the regular session, the Texas Legislature passed a law allowing merchants to ask to see a photo ID when processing a credit card or debit card transaction and to decline the transaction if the customer refuses. The law, which goes into effect January 1, may have placed the state of Texas on a collision course with merchants and financial institutions that issue credit cards, according to the Texas Tribune. The problem is that many financial institutions prohibit merchants from declining a transaction in their contracts. The position of these banks is that their contracts supersede the new law. The state of Texas, even though it does not require merchants to ask for ID, takes the opposite view. The matter may have to be settled through litigation.
- Preparing Yourself for an Examination Under OathIn Wisconsin, when you file a fire loss claim, water damage claim, or other property damage claim against your insurance company, your insurance policy most likely allows your insurer to take your examination under oath. What is an examination under oath, and why would you have to attend one if you were filing an insurance claim?
- Do I Have a Right to Ask the Dealer for a CarFax Report Before I Sign?When dealing with an auto dealership to purchase a vehicle, it may be possible to request a CarFax report. However, this may only be possible if the vehicle is registered and has a file with the website.
- Yo-Yo Financing TacticsYo-yo financing is detrimental to those affected by these situations, and it occurs through a deal with the car dealership when the financing falls through even if the person was told he or she is approved at the company.
- The Warranty was Voided but It Did Not Show on CarFax Report. Is that Fraud?Carfax reports may not reveal all the details of a vehicle that is being sold. However, if reparations are not made with the company, those managing it may be liable for damages or criminal charges such as fraud.
- Weeks after Purchase, I Discovered the Odometer was Rolled Back. Can I Sue?There are various crimes involved in car sales. Odometer fraud is one of these, and it does permit the new owner certain actions when he or she discovers the crime. Even though this is not a legal action, there may only be so much time to pursue a course after the odometer issue is revealed.
- Pursuing a Bad Faith Insurance ClaimWhen an insurance company has denied coverage, is unwilling to provide a settlement and similar matters, an insurance company may be involved in bad faith claims. This means the carrier is attempting to get out of providing entitled monetary compensation for a policy that has coverage of the damage caused by the incident.