By Brett Reynolds, Partner
English, Lucas, Priest and Owsley, LLP
Everyone has gotten scam calls and emails. The scammers are getting smarter and more sophisticated, and they’re now targeting law firms and other businesses with well-planned attempts to get money.
The scams have enough legitimacy that they sound like they could be real business transactions. In fact, our own firm was hit with an attempt a few weeks ago that we wanted to tell you about so you can see how these type of scams work, and how you can avoid getting taken.
I was contacted by a local real estate developer who owned several apartment complexes. A buyer in China wanted to buy the properties, and he needed someone to hold earnest money in escrow and assist with any legal details that might arise before he could come to the United States. I agreed to do so. This is fairly standard and something we’ve done in countless deals for clients previously. It didn’t raise any alarms for us that the buyer was overseas. This is quite common. Bowling Green is a fairly diverse city with lots of foreign nationals living and working in our community, and we’re better for it.