State Bar of Georgia
State Bar of Georgia

Email Scams and Lawyer Trust Accounts

Be aware that there are still numerous internet fraud schemes targeting lawyers and law firms. These scams involve potential clients who want to communicate with you using only email, and who request the use of your trust account for the receipt and disbursement of funds.

Typically the scams involve the initial receipt of a blast email – perhaps something that starts “Dear Counselor” or “Attention Sir/Madam.” The writer asks you to receive and disburse funds using your trust account, and offers to pay you a percentage of the funds you will handle. There are no real legal services involved, and often the payment is substantial. A lawyer who falls victim to the scam receives a deposit with directions to disburse funds immediately. Only after the lawyer disburses funds will she learn that the deposit item is counterfeit.  

You will find additional information regarding such scams on the FBI website: U.S. Law Firms Continue to be the Target of Counterfeit Check Scheme.