Fraud Alert

Last Updated: April 19, 2018

McGuireWoods is a large law firm with offices in the United States and abroad. Unfortunately, as is the case with many large law firms, fraudsters sometimes use the firm’s name and firm lawyers’ names to try to scam innocent people. Attempted frauds may be set in motion by email, telephone or U.S. mail.

Email scams and other security risks abound on the Internet. While we vigilantly monitor suspicious activity, the nature of “phishing,” “spoofing” and other fraudulent emails makes it impossible for McGuireWoods to prevent the unauthorized use of our name and our lawyers’ names in all cases.

A common scam involves fraudsters falsely claiming that a law firm or a firm lawyer is handling a legal matter, many times an eviction, and threatening to take punitive action if the victim of the scam fails to provide personal information (for example, date of birth, Social Security number, bank and account information, and credit card information) and funds immediately.

Fraudsters also illicitly use law firm names in scams involving counterfeit checks that are mailed to unsuspecting victims, along with a request that the victim cash or deposit the check, send most of the funds to a third party and keep the balance of the funds. When the bank determines the check is counterfeit, the victim may be liable for any funds the bank disbursed.

Spoofing emails that appear to come from a reliable source, including McGuireWoods, attempt to cause reputational damage by publishing unfounded allegations against individuals, entities and institutions. Please report any spoofing emails you receive that appear to have been sent from a McGuireWoods email account.

If you receive a suspicious email, telephone call or other solicitation referencing McGuireWoods or a McGuireWoods lawyer, consider the following recommendations:

  • Do not open or click on any links contained in the email, and do not open or download any attachments to the email. Some fraudulent emails include links or attachments that can plant malware on the recipient’s computer. Delete the suspicious email from your account immediately.
  • Never provide any personal information.
  • Never cash a check and/or send money in response to a suspicious solicitation.
  • Report suspicious solicitations to your local police department or other governmental authorities. For email scams, contact the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), comprised of the FBI and other agencies, at www.ic3.gov. For scams initiated by telephone, contact the Federal Communications Commission at www.fcc.gov. For scams conveyed by U.S. mail, contact www.postalinspectors.uspis.gov .

While McGuireWoods is aware that corrupt individuals have used our firm name and our lawyers’ names to attempt to perpetrate criminal scams on innocent victims, the firm, our lawyers and staff are not responsible for a third party’s conduct or liable for damages caused by their conduct. For your security and protection, we ask that you be extremely vigilant when you receive any request for information or action that you think might be fraudulent, whether via email, phone or U.S. mail.

To report potentially fraudulent use of the name of our firm or firm lawyers, email info@mcguirewoods.com or call Jeff Hanson at 804 775 1162.

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