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Internet Scam Targets Lawyers

The Alabama Law Foundation is alerting all members to a new phishing scam, with thanks to the attorneys who notified Executive Director Tracy Daniel. Lawyers in Alabama, Vermont and Indiana have reported receiving email notices involving Interest on Lawyer Trust Accounts (IOLTA). An individual named “Chris Cisneros” (see below for the text of the email) from Dallas sent an email regarding IOLTA accounts. It says the recipient’s IOLTA account has insufficient funds to pay an outstanding check and has an attachment that allegedly contains more information. The assumption is this attachment is malware. Please delete this email if you receive it. Your bank would notify you of an overdraft on your trust account.

The full text of a representative message follows:
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Please see the attached Iolta report for 7448-1996.
We received a check request in the amount of $19,521.42 for the above referenced
file. However, the attached report reflects a $0 balance. At your earliest
convenience, please advise how this request is to be funded.
Thanks.
Chris_Cisneros *
Accounts Payable
National Bankruptcy Services, LLC
9441 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas, TX 75245
Chris_Cisneros@NBSDefaultServices.com
(214) 550-4012
*Not licensed to practice law.
This communication contains information that is intended only for the recipient named and may be privileged, confidential, subject to the attorney-client privilege, and/or exempt from disclosure under applicable law. If you are not the intended recipient or agent responsible for delivering this communication to the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that you have received this communication in error, and that any review, disclosure, dissemination, distribution, use, or copying of this communication is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. If you have received this communication in error, please notify us immediately by telephone at 1-800-766-7751 or 1-972-643-6600 and destroy the material in its entirety, whether in electronic or hard copy format.
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Attorneys should be alert to this type of scam. If you become aware of the same or a similar situation, you should immediately report the incident to local authorities, the Office of General Counsel at the Alabama State Bar and the FBI at the Internet Crime Complaint Center. Additionally, be sure to closely monitor your credit report or bank accounts to ensure that your identity is not the only thing being stolen. If you have been a victim of an Internet scam or have received an email that you believe was an attempted scam, please file a complaint at www.IC3.gov. The IC3 was established as a partnership between the FBI and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C) to serve as a means to receive Internet-related criminal complaints and to further research, develop and refer the criminal complaints to federal, state, local or international law enforcement and/or regulatory agencies for any investigation they deem to be appropriate.
   
Since scams of all types are too numerous to catalogue, a professional liability company in Ontario, Canada, called LAWPRO, well-known to law practice management advisors, has been compiling information about scams being perpetrated on lawyers in North America via its “Avoid a Claim” blog. You may want to review this material and bookmark each of these pages:
· Business loan fraud
· Commercial debt collection fraud
· Divorce settlement and collaborative family law agreement fraud
· Employee injury settlement fraud
· Huge collection of fake IDs, documents and checks given to lawyers
· Real estate bad-check fraud