Anyone can become a victim of a scam.
It is rare for someone to try to scam a lawyer. After all, as a group, we tend to be pretty cynical and analytical.
That doesn’t make for good scam victims. However, love or greed can often blind an otherwise circumspect person.
For the last several years, I have heard about a scam preying on law firms specifically that’s been going around. And like most scams do, it depends on someone who is in a hurry to make a buck.
Here’s the basic scenario: a man calls in, clearly not very well educated, and claiming to have suffered some terrible injury at the hands of a large company like Federal Express or UPS. He claims to be paraplegic and in desperate need of funds. He claims that his landlord is pressuring him to take what settlement is being offered (one million dollars) in order to prevent being evicted.
However it’s clear the case is worth more than what is being offered. And he says if he could just get $450 wired to him through a Walgreens gift card or something then you could have the case. Now they haven’t called me yet. But when and if they do I can give them a little lecture about how lawyers are not allowed to advance money to clients even for something as basic as rent. We are allowed to simply pay things like medical evaluations or other things that are necessary for the preparation of the case.
The fact that this game has been going on for about three years in multiple different states indicates that it must be successful at least some of the time. Which means that in many of the states lawyers are probably doing things they should not be doing. And in that case, they probably deserve whatever they get.
But if you want to make yourself scam proof, just follow the simple three-step formula to scam proofing your life:
1. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Hang up. You can never get something for nothing.
2. If you must make a decision in a hurry. Hang up. Your worst decisions in your life are always made in haste.
3. If you must send money to someone or provide your private information, hang up.
If people follow these three simple rules, they will never fall for the Nigerian prince scam and they will not get involved in a shady deal.
Mr. Peel seeks justice for those injured in motorcycle, truck and car accidents, disability and medical malpractice. He often addresses churches, clubs and groups without charge. Mr. Peel may be reached through PeelLawFirm.com wherein other articles may be accessed.