Collaborative Family Law Scam – Initial Email Becoming Less Descriptive

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I have been meaning to write this post for quite some time, but just never got around to it. However, I have recently noticed an up-swing in the number of scammers using our site in an attempt to reach a potential victim in the legal industry. And it makes me very angry.

By prescreening our referral requests and direct contact emails going to our lawyers, we have literally stopped well over 7,500 of these sorts of emails reaching our members’ inboxes – this year alone. Our prescreening, although time consuming, does give us personal insight to these never-ending scams.

Right now, the collaborative family law scam is probably the most prevalant one out there. Dan Pinnington wrote a post for Slaw.ca in June 2010 about the Collaborative Family Law Agreement Fraud Evolving and Becoming Even More Convincing. The initial email lawyers were receiving went something like this:

My name is [wife's name]. I am a contacting your firm in regards to a divorce settlement with my ex husband [husband's name] who resides in your jurisdiction. I am currently on assignment in [Hong Kong or Japan or China]. We had an out of court agreement (Collaborative Law Agreement) for him to pay [amounts ranging from $350,000-$900,000] plus legal fees. He has only paid me [amounts ranging from $30,000-$150,000] since then. I am hereby seeking your firm to assist me in collecting the balance from him. He has agreed already to pay me the balance but it is my belief that a Law firm like yours is needed to help me collect payment from my ex-husband or litigate this matter if he fails to pay as promised.
Yours truly,
Wife’s first and last name

But today we received over 100 separate emails – to lawyers in jurisdictions right across the country – that simply said this:

Dear Attorney,
I need an attorney to handle my family/collaborative matter.
Regards,
[Name]

Presumably, they are now turning to a less detailed approach in an attempt to establish initial contact with a “target”.

My advice to you: Be aware. Read (or re-read) LawPro’s Fraud Prevention information.

Natalie Waddell

Founder and President at LawyerLocate.ca Inc.
Natalie was spirited to start this company after a frustrating and poor personal experience when searching for a lawyer back in the late nineties. “I quickly realized that the tools available to assist someone in finding the right lawyer were grossly inadequate. Not only inadequate for the individual in need of a lawyer, but also inadequate for the lawyers in search of new clients. There had to be a better way to connect clients and lawyers in a more efficient manner – without wasting everybody’s time and effort”, explains Natalie.

Natalie brings a passion to the business that ensures the entire LawyerLocate.ca team strives to improve the service for both lawyers and the general public. To that end, she is committed to ongoing communication with our members and welcomes and relies on clients’ input to continually evolve the service to make it better for all.

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