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Ho! Ho! Ho! Holiday Reminder
Post on November 20th, 2023

The holidays are just around the corner! So it’s a good time for cybersecurity reminders.

Scammers typically take advantage of this time of year when they know everyone is busy and more vulnerable to phishing emails and social engineering threats.

Be aware of the fraudulent check scam. Scammers have refined their technique on this. The scenario typically unfolds like this: Lawyer receives an email from an out of state or international prospective client seeking representation in Ohio. Lawyer prepares and emails engagement letter/fee contract, which new “client” quickly signs and returns. Within a day or two, lawyer receives Fed Ex delivery of a large check, sometimes drawn on a foreign bank.

The scammer hopes the lawyer will deposit the fraudulent check in the IOLTA and then write checks assuming the first trust deposit has cleared. Thankfully, more attorneys are realizing the scam before issuing payment.

This is one example of cyber scams. Here are some other types of scams:

  • Ransomware attacks can encrypt your entire system unless you pay
  • Phishing scams can involve emails that LOOK like they come from someone you know and ask you to click on a link to see pictures from a party or view an invitation.
  • Credit card scams can purport to follow up on an order and ask you to confirm the card number.
  • Package delivery scams can also ask you for credit information.
  • Business email compromise scams can ask you to purchase gift cards or send confidential information to business partners or others in your firm.

Here are some steps to help avoid these scams:

  • Be cautious of unsolicited emails.
  • Carefully check the origin of any unknown email by hovering over the email address to determine where it originated.
  • NEVER click on any links in a suspicious email or call any phone numbers listed.
  • Conduct due diligence on persons/entities in emails with an independent online search.
    • Verify information with recognized services such as Better Business Bureau.
    • Call the verified number to confirm the request.

The OBLIC Policy provides basic data breach coverage for privacy breach response costs, notification expenses, credit monitoring, and network asset protection. There is also indemnity for extortion expenses incurred as a direct result of a credible cyber extortion threat, such as a ransomware attack. Call OBLIC to report a cyber incident and determine if there is coverage.

Remember – If it seems too good to be true – IT IS! Still in doubt – give us a call!

Gretchen K. Mote, Esq.
Director of Loss Prevention
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.572.0620
[email protected]
Merisa K. Bowers, Esq.
Loss Prevention Counsel
Ohio Bar Liability Insurance Co.
Direct:  614.859.2978
[email protected]


This information is made available solely for loss prevention purposes, which may include claim prevention techniques designed to minimize the likelihood of incurring a claim for legal malpractice. This information does not establish, report, or create the standard of care for attorneys. The material is not a complete analysis of the topic and should not be construed as providing legal advice. Please conduct your own appropriate legal research in this area. If you have questions about this email’s content and are an OBLIC policyholder, please contact us using the information above.