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Archive for May, 2010

Provincial, Territorial and State Lawyer Licensing Databases

May 26, 2010 By: Dan Category: Fraud prevention

I have had calls from lawyers in the midst of handling apparent fraud attempts that were wanting to verify whether the lawyers named as the drafter of the collaborative family law agreements presented to them by the fraudsters were in fact real lawyers. There were names and signatures in the agreements – but nothing else. No firm names, telephone numbers, addresses etc. Red flag!! Searches of the internet failed to turn up anything.

So where can you go to attempt to establish if you are dealing with a real lawyer that is in good standing?

We Love Facebook, But Beware The Growing Fraudsters

May 03, 2010 By: Reid Category: Uncategorized

Dan has written extensively on this blog, his PracticePro blog, and on about the cheque fraud that is claiming victims across the legal profession in the U.S. and Canada. That fraudulent activity has yet to abate, and we are now faced with another type of fraud: Fake and stolen Facebook account fraud. Similar to the deceptive practices Dan has warned about, these fraudsters are phishing to steal Facebook accounts, and then seek to defraud the friends of the real Facebook account owner. According to this article in the New York Times, millions of accounts are bundled and sold to criminals who then post fake messages seeking money from Facebook friends. For example, one such fake message (obstensibly from the account owner) asking friends for money to help her get home from Europe where she was stuck without funds to return home.  Furthermore, access to Facebook accounts can provide personal information that can help these criminals answer account security questions such as “What is your mother’s maiden name?” Scary stuff, but just the tip of the iceberg.

It seems that with almost any technology, the more popular it becomes, the more security concerns pop-up. With over 400 million users, if Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world. And millions of those people are now closely interconnected. No wonder the world’s criminals are out in full force.

So as with any other technology, beware. Stay up-to-date. Learn and apply security settings. Take care who you friend. Apply the same common sense to requests via Facebook as you would by mail, telephone or e-mail: Make sure you really know who is contacting you.

It’s a shrinking world out there, but the neighborhood is still rough!