The Spanish Prisoner

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Law firms remain a target of scams that lack the twists and turns of a David Mamet story, often coming in the guise of a prospective client.  A common con starts with an unsolicited email, often from overseas, seeking assistance in collecting one or more past due accounts.  The prospect may look quite legitimate, including a website and other contact information that appears to check out.  (Some scams, however, are easier to sniff out, leading to the maxim:  “Real CEOs don’t use Gmail.”)  Once the engagement is confirmed, the client then comes forward with the happy news that the debtor will pay, and all the firm has to do is cash the check and pay out the balance (less the attorney’s large fee for doing not a lot of work) to the client.  At that point — surprise, surprise — it turns out the check is either no good or stolen, and the firm is left holding the bag, so to speak.  Lesson:  Be cautious and perform due diligence on all unknown clients and “too good to be true” opportunities.