Why do people try to scam law firms? Is it because people know firms are flush with cash, or out of some deep-seated hatred of lawyers, or because they think law firm bookkeepers are stupid (since sometimes they are)?
That one is a little complicated. A scam being run closer to home is simpler and stupider. The New York office of a Biglaw firm sent out a memo to its associates this week to beware of the “taxi scam.”
How does it work?
It should not be confused with the overcharging scam recently run by taxi drivers on all of their riders. Instead, this simple scam is aimed just at lawyers and appears to have affected quite a few firms in New York City.
Here’s the email that went out to associates at a top firm this week:
Please be advised that we have been alerted by other law firms of a scam that has been taking place in recent weeks. An attorney (usually a Partner) receives a phone call from someone saying they found a confidential package on the subway that is address [sic] to them.
Because partners are the ones most likely to fall for it?
They state that they’re a tourist but would be happy to bring the package to the office for round trip cab fare. When the person arrives to the office with the package, they usually provides a cab receipt and ask for double the fare. The package contains documents that do look official – from the NY State Insurance Fund and even has their correct 800 number listed. The NY State Insurance Fund say they have been getting many of these calls and ask you to notify the district attorney.
So by “worst” in the title, we mean “most idiotic.”
How much could scammers possibly make on this — $40? $60? As our tipster put it: “Yeah, seems like way too much effort for not enough money.”
Kind of like Biglaw?