Today I received a call from a Plano number on my office phone. Within 30 seconds of our conversation I knew that I was dealing with a scammer. His story has been told a million times before, an unknown relative died overseas, he is the sole heir, the estate is $2.5 million dollars. And all he needs from you, in addition to your brilliant legal skills, is $5000 to pay the bank fees to release the money and then he will pay you back your $5000 plus a huge fee. Yeah right. As a regular old guy you just want to tell them to “f off” and then hang up, but unfortunately this scammer has engaged you in your capacity as an attorney so it’s not so simple.
Remember that most of all you need to be protecting yourself. Individuals who will approach you with financial scams will not think twice about making bogus grievance claims against you. Treat them like you would any prospective client. Remember to tell them that there is no attorney client relationship created by a phone consultation and that you highly recommend they seek a second opinion by another attorney. To further protect your self once you realize that a scam is in progress I would recommend asking the caller if you have their permission to record the call and then do record it. Be polite and friendly in your entire interaction and give them a nothing to use against you.
Most of all, if something that doesn’t seem on the level, it is probably not. Err on the side of caution, it’s better to pass on one potential client than to get caught up in a money and time-sucking scam.