I’ve been following a person claiming to be a paraplegic who tries to scam lawyers across the country into sending him money for rent. I have been wondering what makes all these scams similar? After all there have to be certain indicia about what makes them work. Here are my thoughts on what the scammers claim and why they seem to work. 

The Scam – What is it that makes this scam involving personal injury somewhat successful?

  1. The alleged case involves a catastrophic injury.
  2. The damages will be enormous.
  3. The attorney fee will be a contingent fee.
  4. A substantial offer has already been extended.
  5. The case will likely be resolved quickly and easily.
  6. The negligent defendant has very deep pockets.
  7. There is a small economic hurdle to get over and to get the client signed up.
  8. There is a questionable ethical issue, but it is vague enough to not raise a red flag.
  9. There is urgency to the need for legal help – the client is desperate and is willing to settle the case cheaply.
  10. The immediate problem is easily solved with just the payment of a little money.
  11. This is a case of a lifetime; a career changing money-maker opportunity.
  12. These scams aren't likely to be reported due to shame and having an ethical issue. There is problem with the actions of both parties involved.
  13. The amount scammed is less than $2,000.

What lawyers are likely to fall for this scam?

  1. Those who have sloppy intake systems
  2. Those with a poorly constructed business plan
  3. Lawyers who are familiar with cutting corners
  4. Lawyers who are ethically challenged and seeking a way to make easy money
  5. Lawyers who are inexperienced in personal injury, social security and workers’ compensation law
  6. Lawyers with a low threshold for what is considered doing your homework
  7. Lawyers who react without thinking through what they are being asked to do for a would-be client
  8. Lawyers with money problems or who like to gamble
  9. Lawyers looking for a free lunch or who care too much for their fellow man
  10. Young lawyers with high student loan balances vs revenue streams
  11. Young lawyers not aware or trying to avoid co-representation with more seasoned lawyers with the right experience
  12. Lawyers who fail to question when something seems too good to be true
  13. Lawyers who fail to use a simple research tool like the Internet
  14. Lawyers with debt problems
  15. Lawyers with drinking or drug problems
  16. Lawyers who have a naïve view of the world and their fellow men

Resources – The Chain of Posts:

One of the next posts will describe a scam being played on lawyers who represent criminal defendants. Stay tuned and call us if you we can help you with any case in Iowa. 

Steve Lombardi
Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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