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Hood warns of Internet scam

JACKSON — Attorney General Jim Hood is warning of an Internet scam that is targeting local attorneys and law firms.

News reports indicate attorneys in several states have already fallen prey to this scam. The Mississippi Bar Association has also alerted its members of this scam.

An attorney/law firm receives an e-mail referral from someone saying that they have a collection matter or contract dispute and need a local attorney to handle. They will establish a relationship and after a short period of time, the client will notify the attorney that they have resolved the matter and have instructed the debtor to issue a check payable to the attorney. The attorney is instructed by the client to deposit the money into his account, take his fees and then wire the balance to the client.

The scam occurs when the attorney receives the check and deposits it into his bank account. The check is bogus and comes back unpaid and the attorney is liable for the funds.

Anyone who suspects they have been a victim of this scam or any other should contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.  This alert and others like it can be found on the Consumer section of the Attorney General Office’s website, www.agjimhood.com.

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