Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

How to Avoid Becoming a Victim of Email Scams

Email scams can hit anyone’s inbox.

Even the Supreme Court of Ohio is not immune. As an example, one recent email claimed to be from an attorney making contact on behalf of a man who left millions of dollars in his will.

In the past week, a national alert was issued about an email that summons the recipient to a phony court case. When the attachments or links are opened, a malicious program is launched that infects the recipient's computer.

Scott Drexel, disciplinary counsel for the state of Ohio, has a stack of cases from the last several years where Ohio lawyers have fallen victim to foreign check scams.

“They offer to send a large amount of money to the attorney to put in their trust account for the purpose of paying the debt or the purpose of purchasing the real estate, and offer the attorney a very large fee for what is in essence just being an intermediary and doesn’t really involve any legal work at all,” Drexel said.

Drexel added the scammers ask for an immediate transfer of the money to a third-party account. The problem is that the check is phony but real money is transferred from the attorney’s IOLTA – or client trust account.

ldquo;The whole scheme depends upon the attorney not holding the funds long enough for the processing bank to discover that the check is fraudulent.”

If you’re contacted, Drexel said proceed with caution: “And not to issue any checks or transmit any money until you are certain that the funds that you’re being asked to transmit are actually on deposit in your account.”

Good advice for anyone who gets a “sounds too good to be true” money offer.