We have been notified by the State Bar of Arizona that there is a new scam targeting lawyers and their clients. Here is how it 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.
The scam works through a process called “Caller ID Spoofing.” “Spoofing” allows a caller to create a new caller ID for their phone. 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. 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.
Fortunately, none of our clients have been targeted by this scam, but we wanted to make people aware of it for their own protection. We will never ask our clients to call another phone number to make a payment. When in doubt, you should hang up the phone and call us back at the number you have for us to confirm that we did indeed, request a payment.