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Beware of Phishing! Social Engineering Scams

Some time ago I was stunned by a discussion with a law firm that had almost been scammed into sending several hundred thousand dollars overseas. The incident involved what turned out to be a fraudulent check from a "client" and a request to transfer funds. What floored me was the firm's response to the situation. As we talked about what happened, the lawyers recognized they were fortunate to have listened to their firm administrator 's advice to not release any funds until the deposited check cleared. But even after the check did bounce, they felt unable to do anything about it, or have the situation investigated, because of a perceived attorney-client relationship and the loyalties they believed flew from that. The scammers had invested enough time in becoming involved with the firm that, even after nearly being taken in, the lawyers felt confidentiality trumped. Wow. Whoever was behind that scam knew what they were doing. I wish I could say this particular story was unusual, but I can’t. In the years since, these types of scams have only gotten more frequent and sophisticated, and it’s all owing to social engineering. ... READ MORE

Originally published January 21, 2014
Last updated February 18, 2019
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