Fraudulent Emails are NOT from the Lanier Law Firm

Online scammers are impersonating lawyers on Facebook, Facebook Messenger, social media and by email, attempting to trick people into transferring money out of their bank accounts by sending cashier’s checks or using Western Union, MoneyGram and similar services.

This trend is affecting numerous U.S. law firms, including instances involving lawyers at The Lanier Law Firm. These communications can seem convincing, so it’s important to be vigilant about messages asking that you withdraw and send money. If you receive an online message requesting money or financial information, do not respond or provide any personal or financial information.

 

The scam:

The scam is a modern variation of the centuries-old “pigeon drop” confidence trick in which a targeted, typically elderly victim, is persuaded to give up a sum of money in order to secure the rights to a larger sum of money later.

Fraudsters posing as lawyers or bankers typically contact individuals through Facebook messenger or similar social media sites or by email. They alert unsuspecting elderly individuals that that they’ve won or are entitled to a large amount of money from a “government grant.”

The messaging often includes official-looking certificates with government seals describing the fake award. These phony certificates include language such as “Individual Enlargement Grant Certificate” and “Federal Government of the United States Grant Department” or “Insurance Department.” They appear to be signed by the same person who has contacted them online.

Targeted victims of this scam are advised by the scammers that in order to receive the large sum of money, a wire transfer of cash or a cashier’s check is required to “insure” the delivery of the money. Victims are also advised against telling family members or bank officials why they are withdrawing money from their bank accounts for a wire transfer. A variation of this ruse informs victims that they have outstanding debts that demand urgent attention.

Example:


Be Alert:

Fraudsters build trust with victims by engaging in frequent communications with them, using Facebook Messenger and similar messaging apps.

These scammers often claim they’re with a reputable law firm or financial institution or a third party acting on their behalf. They ask victims to send an amount of money quickly with the promise that they will receive substantially more later.

These communications can seem convincing, so it’s important to always be vigilant about online communications asking for money. If you are suspicious about a message that you have received, do not respond to these people or provide them with any personal or financial information.

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