Doctors, Attorneys and Other License Holders Now Targeted by Scammers
Fraudsters have started targeting doctors, attorneys, accountants and others who hold state licenses or certifications, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Scammers are creating official-looking fake emails that tell the recipient their license will be suspended if they do not pay past due fees. Some of the emails ask the money be wired by the close of business, and others insist the recipient provide their credit card number to pay the fees. Yet another fraud tells the victim that a complaint has been filed against them, and they have to follow a link to get more information. This link then installs malware on the person’s computer.
The FTC confirmed many State Boards and Bars charge annual dues and communicate with their members via email. However, the FTC asked professionals to realize that it is unlikely they will be asked to take immediate action via email.
“What should you do if you get a message claiming your dues are overdue, a complaint has been filed against you, the sender needs your trust account number or your license is at risk? Call the Bar or Board directly. Just don’t use a phone number in the iffy email. Use one you know to be genuine—for example, the number on your membership card,” the FTC said.
This report comes at a time when more professionals seem to be at risk from scammers. Three Chinese citizens were just charged in the United States for trading on corporate secrets they uncovered by hacking networks and servers of law firms that work on mergers and acquisitions. Reuters reported the three men were charged with wire fraud, insider trading and computer intrusion. They made over $4 million due to their fraudulent activity.