Sheryl Harris, a Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist who does a brisk business in writing about consumer fraud, reports this week that a JD isn't a guarantee against falling for a variant of the classic Nigerian scam. An Ohio FBI agent tells her that law firms around the country have getting contacts from overseas front companies purportedly looking for help with debt collection.
Here's how it works: After a retainer’s agreed upon, the front company pays with an excessively large check, requesting that the balance be wired back to it.
The check, of course, is faked, but by the time the bank flags it the firm’s money is already gone. According to the FBI, multiple firms both in and out of Ohio have been eating between $100,000 and $500,000 on the transaction.
“Anyone can be scammed -- and here's proof.”