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BALTIMORE POLICE DEPARTMENT SPECIAL INVESTIGATIONS SECTION

CHECK & FRAUD UNIT STEPHANIE RAWLINGSBLAKE

FREDERICK H. BEALEFELD, III

Mayor

Police Commissioner

Fraud Alert 10 March 2012 Greetings Baltimore area Law Firms and Attorneys, The Baltimore City Police Department is currently investigating an ongoing scam/fraud involving an area law firm. Investigation and research into this scam has found that same is a nationwide issue that we wish to make you aware of. The scam/fraud involves a law firm or attorney being contacted by what appears to be a legitimate company asking them to be retained to collect on a debt from another business. The law firm or attorney is then contacted by the company that owes the money with a certified check being sent to cover the bulk of the amount owed, in this particular case the check in question was a certified bank check for $298,750.00. The law firm or attorney is then requested by the company that retained them to immediately wire said funds overseas, in this particular case the funds were wired to the Peoples Republic of China. Shortly thereafter the law firm or attorney is then contacted by their bank and advised that the check deposited is counterfeit with said bank then holding the law firm or attorney liable for the full amount. A check with the affected bank’s investigation unit shows that this is indeed a nationwide trend that is also occurring in Canada. Further research finds that the scammers are using actual company names, addresses, logos and letterheads to give the illusion of legitimacy. The Baltimore Police Department is asking that area law firms and attorneys be vigilant about this fraud and to exercise due caution. For more information about similar scams you can download the article: Lawyers Warned to be Wary of Client E-mail Scams dated 1/26/09 from Law.Com. Should you have already encountered this issue or have additional questions please feel free to contact the Baltimore City Police-Check & Fraud Unit at (410) 396-2400 and ask to speak with Sgt. Connolly or Det. Elkner. Thank you for your time and attention regarding this matter. Det. Robert Elkner Baltimore City Police Special Investigations Section-Economic Crimes/Check & Fraud Unit (410) 396-2400


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