Reproduced in the September 2013 issue of LAWPRO Magazine is a sample of the report we get when a lawyer reports a claim using our online claim report form. It is a classic textbook example of a bad cheque fraud where the lawyer was duped. Upon discovering these frauds, banks generally reverse the credit that was given on the deposit of the fake cheque. Because the lawyer already disbursed funds in reliance on the fake cheque, this reversal removes trust funds belonging to other clients and/or leaves the lawyer's trust account with a negative balance.
Please read the claim report. Can you spot the red flags? Could it happen to you?
Please don’t be complacent about these frauds. They are evolving and getting ever more sophisticated. Be vigilant! The supporting documents from the fraudsters – and the stories behind them – can be incredibly convincing. If a file you are handling seems like easy money, or otherwise too good to be true, think critically: Are there any details of the transaction that give you pause? Watch for the red flags that can indicate that an otherwise legitimate-looking matter is a fraud.