RISK AND PRACTICE MANAGEMENT TIP: Avoiding fraud during the summer holiday season

With decreased staffing during the summer months, being extra vigilant is important to avoid becoming the victim of a fraudulent scheme. Here are some red flags to be aware of:

  • misspellings or inconsistencies with ID or addresses;
  • sense of urgency with the transaction;
  • willing to pay higher fees than normally charged;
  • generally addressed emails (for example, “Dear Attorney” or “Attention Counsel”);
  • your client denies or delays a promised payment of a retainer, demanding that you take payment as soon as the bad cheque arrives.

Remember, the first contact may be by telephone or in person and the client may present themselves in a very sophisticated manner. Be mindful of your obligations under the Client ID Regulations and keep digging until you are satisfied that this is a legitimate transaction. 

For more information on fraud, visit the LIANS website at: http://www.lians.ca/rpm/fraud/

If you have any questions on these, or any other risk- or practice-related matters, do not hesitate to contact Stacey Gerrard, LIANS Counsel with the Risk and Practice Management Program at sgerrard@lians.ca or call 423-1300 ext. 345.

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