Warning: Scams Directed at Colorado Attorneys
The Colorado Bar Association has been provided information about these scams through its members and has created this page to help alert all members to potential dangers.
Fraudulent Emails Claiming to be From IRS
An email that purports to be from the IRS regarding electronic quarterly tax payments on the IRS’ system called EFTPS have been received by Colorado attorneys. Read more about this scam here.
Colorado attorneys have received emails purporting to be from efax, with a generic subject line, such as Corporate efax message – 2 pages. The email looks similar to efax emails, but it is a scam. The firm that received the email does not use eFaxes, so it was already on guard. Read more about this scam here.
Fraudulent Emails from AmEx
Colorado attorneys have reported receiving emails purporting to be from American Express that contains an “account alert.”
Fraudulent Emails related to Google Accounts
A Colorado attorney received the following email:
Your Attorney Webmail account has been suspended because of unusual invalid login attempts into your Attorney Webmail. You may experience inability to send and receive new messages. To restore your Attorney Webmail account, please click on the link below and complete the form. [Followed by a link]
Click on the link above (or copy and paste the Attorney Webmail google URL address into your web browser) to complete the form.
Thank you for co-operation.
Bar Association Technical Support (USA)
This attorney did not have a Google account and the signatory appears to be a professor at a university, not a member of the Google support staff.
Fraudulent British Solicitor Study Program
The CBA has been alerted to a scam involving the purchase of a study program for attorneys to become British Solicitors. If approached to participate in a similar program, please use all precautions to ensure authenticity.
West Virginia Bar Warns Memebers of Lawyers' Identities Being Stolen for Fake Websites, Solicitations
The West Virginia State Bar recently warned its members of a scam involving lawyers' identities. The following was sent to WVSB members via email:
"The State Bar has been notified of a recent scam in which the identity of a Texas attorney, who had not practiced in years, was used to set up a fake law firm website using the attorney's maiden name, former office address, and portions of her professional biography. Yesterday, the State Bar received a call from one of our current members regarding the use of her name and professional information to solicit legal work. You should be on the alert. If you become aware of the same, or a similar, situation involving your name/law firm you should immediately contact local authorities to report the incident. Additionally, you should contact the Office of Disciplinary Council to advise them of the situation. The ODC does not have the authority to pursue non-lawyers. However, the ODC should be on notice of the incident if a potential victim, who mistakenly thinks that you are their lawyer, files a claim against you. Lastly, be sure to closely monitor your credit report or bank accounts to ensure that your identity is not the only thing being stolen."
Isaacson Goldberg and Warner Fraud
A new scam was recently brought to the attention of the CBA concerning a group of folks posing as an international law firm with an office in California. They are looking for temporary staff to assist on an upcoming trial scheduled in Denver. They are operating under the name of Isaacson Goldberg and Warner. They have a website and sound very knowledgeable but they don’t exist. The FBI and police have been notified about them as well.
Click here for an article about Isaacson Goldberg and Warner fraud.
Lawyers Targeted by New Form of the 'Nigerian Scam'
Lawyers in Oklahoma are reporting that they are receiving emails in which the writer states he or she was referred to the lawyer by the state bar association. Oklahoma, like the Colorado Bar Association, does not operate a referral service; it has a lawyer directory search. Read more about this scam here.
Emails Claim Other Lawyers Referred to the Firm
An Englewood-based firm recieved the following email from a writer whose address was in Germany and claimed to be with the company ZeligSteel AG:
I have referral from Attorney Owen H. Orndorff to contact you for legal service. I have been advised that there is need for conflict check before representation. However, let me know the information needed for conflict purposes and will email them to you accordingly.
It is my intention to proceed without further delay and I will appreciate a prompt response from you.
An attorney at the firm replied to this email asking for more information and that was given by the potential client. After running conflicts they Googled the address and the search found the "referring"attorney in Ohio.
The firm called the law firm Owen H. Orndorff to confirm the referral as stated in the email and the assistant said they do not know any business in Germany and do not know this person or company. The firm's attorney called the opposing party and spoke with the Sales Manager, who informed the attorney that their company does not do business with ZeligSteel.
The firm also researched the IP address and found that it was not “blacklisted” but found it listed in the British, Virgin Islands. The firm does not know what the intent was behind this scam, but just wants members to beware.
If you have learned about a scam that you would like to alert members to, please contact Sara Crocker at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will post information about a scam for one year, unless we have been notified that the type of scam is one that continues to target members.