FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 27, 2016
Contact: Alberto Rodriguez
State Bar Warns About New Scam Directed at Attorneys and Their Clients
PHOENIX – Jan. 27, 2016 - The State Bar of Arizona is warning its members about a new type of scam directed at both attorneys and their clients. This sophisticated scam exploits the attorney/client relationship and defrauds consumers of their money.
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.
This scam works through a process known as "Caller ID Spoofing". "Spoofing" allows a caller to change their ID to reflect any desired number, which will then show up on the recipient's caller ID. Previous "spoofing" scams, for example, have involved callers using a number that belongs to the IRS.
"What makes this most recent case especially troubling is that the scammers have linked the attorney with the client," said John Phelps, CEO/Executive Director of the State Bar of Arizona. "While this information may be publicly available through court documents, we have not seen it used in this way. This recent case involved 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," he added.
Attorneys should consider advising their clients about the potential for this type of scam. Consumers should confirm with their attorneys before sending money. Both attorneys and consumers should file a report with the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at www.ic3.gov if they are a victim of this scam.
About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court. The Bar includes approximately 23,500 attorneys and provides education and development programs for the legal profession and the public. Since 1933 the Bar and its members have been committed to serving the public by making sure the voices of all people in Arizona are heard in our justice system.
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