New IOLTA Scam Targets Attorneys

By John Phelps, CEO/Executive Director
October 15, 2013

We want to warn you about a phishing scam that is directed at lawyers. The latest twist is that the scam email is mentioning IOLTA accounts. The email implies that the account doesn’t have enough money to pay an outstanding check. It then asks for the attorney to contact the sender to clear up the matter.

Scammers are always looking for new ways to find victims. They’re hoping that by creating confusion, you’ll provide them with information they can use to access your account and steal your money. Always take a moment to read the email carefully. If it claims you have an outstanding problem, contact your own banking
institution. If you do contact the sender, do not give them any account information.

I’m sure you regularly see emails that claim to come from foreign countries asking you to take on a profitable case. By now you probably know they’re just a scam. While each scam is different, avoiding them requires the same set of precautions:

  • Read each email carefully and make sure you take the proper steps to protect yourself.
    Be very wary of clicking links that may be in email. 
  • Don’t give credit card or account information over the phone unless you are sure you’re dealing with a
    legitimate organization (and not just someone pretending to be your bank)
  • Think critically. The same skills that got you through law school will help protect against

This latest twist is just another reminder that you have to be constantly vigilant with your
business practices.

The fraudulent message is as follows:

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.


Chris Cisneros *
Accounts Payable
National Bankruptcy Services, LLC
9441 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas, TX 75245
(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
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