Last week I re-posted Beware of Last Minute Changes to Wiring Instructions. The blog was directed at lawyers who receive changes to wiring instructions shortly before disbursing from trust.
Well, scams work both ways. Here’s the latest:
Last week, Lawyer was set to represent Buyer in a purchase of property. Buyer intended to fund the purchase with Buyer’s own money. Lawyer provided Buyer with instructions on how to wire the funds ($110,000) to Lawyer’s trust account.
Two days before closing, Buyer received a text message with revised wiring instructions. Buyer did not call, e-mail, or otherwise confirm the change with Lawyer. Buyer instructed bank to wire the funds to the account reflected in the text message.
It was a scam.
As pointed out in last week’s blog, lawyers should confirm with clients upon receiving a last-minute change to wiring instructions. Lawyers should instruct clients to do the same and, in addition, inform clients that it is highly unlikely that a lawyer’s wiring information will change in the day or too before a closing.
Of course, the latest scam raises a question as to how the scammer knew to text Buyer. Did Lawyer fail to take reasonable precautions to safeguard client information? For now, it’s too early to tell.