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?
- The alleged case involves a catastrophic injury.
- The damages will be enormous.
- The attorney fee will be a contingent fee.
- A substantial offer has already been extended.
- The case will likely be resolved quickly and easily.
- The negligent defendant has very deep pockets.
- There is a small economic hurdle to get over and to get the client signed up.
- There is a questionable ethical issue, but it is vague enough to not raise a red flag.
- There is urgency to the need for legal help – the client is desperate and is willing to settle the case cheaply.
- The immediate problem is easily solved with just the payment of a little money.
- This is a case of a lifetime; a career changing money-maker opportunity.
- 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.
- The amount scammed is less than $2,000.
What lawyers are likely to fall for this scam?
- Those who have sloppy intake systems
- Those with a poorly constructed business plan
- Lawyers who are familiar with cutting corners
- Lawyers who are ethically challenged and seeking a way to make easy money
- Lawyers who are inexperienced in personal injury, social security and workers’ compensation law
- Lawyers with a low threshold for what is considered doing your homework
- Lawyers who react without thinking through what they are being asked to do for a would-be client
- Lawyers with money problems or who like to gamble
- Lawyers looking for a free lunch or who care too much for their fellow man
- Young lawyers with high student loan balances vs revenue streams
- Young lawyers not aware or trying to avoid co-representation with more seasoned lawyers with the right experience
- Lawyers who fail to question when something seems too good to be true
- Lawyers who fail to use a simple research tool like the Internet
- Lawyers with debt problems
- Lawyers with drinking or drug problems
- Lawyers who have a naïve view of the world and their fellow men
Resources – The Chain of Posts:
- November 18, 2013: Law Practice: The Paraplegic Scam and the story of Po Javontae – Des Moines, Iowa.
- December 9, 2013: Breaking News: Javontae's paraplegic scam, moves from Iowa to California! - California
- December 13, 2013: Breaking News: Hot off the Dysfunctional Press from the Lombardi Law Firm! – Spokane, Washington
- December 15, 2013: More Breaking News: Where is Waldo? He’s in New Haven, Connecticut
- December 18, 2013: Does Waldo own a jet? – The Big Apple, New York, New York
- December 21, 2013: Paraplegic scammer attempts his scam on lawyers in Baltimore, Maryland
- January 14, 2014: News Update: Fed Ex and Walmart Scammers in New Jersey
- January 22, 2014: Let’s Rock & Roll with Po Javontae, Baltimore, Maryland - Javontae is back trolling again in Baltimore, Maryland, slight change of reported facts. He’s changed his address to: Napoleon, 111 East Little Texas Road, Louisiana 70390. This lawyer did not bite.
- January 27, 2014: Contacted by lawyers in West Virginia. Legal Scam: Javontae is back, this time in West Virginia
- February 7, 2014: February, 7, 2014: Do Louisianans have too much time on their hands? West Virginia
- February 12, 2014: Guess who is back? You guessed it Javontae! | Lombardi Law Firm – Los Angeles, California
- February 18, 2014: FedEx-WalMart Scam Update: What Babe the Blue Ox Has in Common with Javontae?
- February 28, 2014: Lawyer Scams: What makes them all similar?
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.