The European Regulator and the Law Society of Scotland are warning lawyers and clients about the increase in the number of fake law firm websites. These websites are set up to look like a real attorney’s website and may even be using a real attorney’s name and information to scam “clients.” The designers of these websites hope to gather personal and financial information of clients from these websites. There is a high chance these scammers are able to gain confidential information because many law sites ask clients to fill out a short form in order to schedule a consultation. The Law Society of Scotland encourages lawyers to check the Law Society’s site to see whether their site has been cloned. It is also recommended that lawyers to go to search engines and confirm that their website is the only one to show up when they enter their name.
Although many lawyers think something like this can never happen them, they should take necessary precautions. Edward Scott was a victim of a fake site scam. He found out that he was listed as a partner at Carter Legal Associates. The real law firm Scott worked at was Capital Defense Lawyers of Edinburgh. Scott was surprised to find a nearly identical website and profile that described Scott as a well-regarded criminal and traffic defense attorney. Not only was it a hassle for Scott to take down the fake website, he was also concerned about his clients becoming targets of these scams. A law firm’s reputation can also suffer because their name is linked to a scam website.
The ABA Journal advises attorneys to prevent scams like this one from taking place by talking to their clients and searching themselves up online. Not only do attorney’s suffer from scams like this, many innocent people become victims. People think they are sharing their personal and confidential information with an attorney, but this is not always true. Clients are encouraged to make sure an attorney actually exists before providing their legal information to him or her. Calling the attorney’s office is recommended to verify the website.
Source referenced: ABA Journal