||The Department of Banking and Insurance is encouraging banks and consumers to be aware of a scam targeting attorney trust account funds. There are variations on these schemes, but ultimately, the attorney’s trust account is used to facilitate the fraud.
Scammers accomplish the scheme via e-mail solicitations to attorneys that typically involves the claim of delinquent collections or a similar matter that requires the receipt of funds into an attorney’s trust account. Within days of receiving the funds and depositing them to the trust account but before the check has cleared, the lawyer is asked to wire funds from the account. The lawyer only finds out later the check is fraudulent when the bank returns the check and the fraudster has already debited the lawyer’s trust account.
Fraudsters have attempted this scam at several banks in New Jersey. To date, bank officials have attributed minimal losses to this fraud. Commissioner Considine is urging banks to review their wire transfer controls and to be cognizant of this issue.
For more information, visit the New Jersey State Bar Association web site.