Let’s admit it – nobody wants to be a victim of lawyer fraud. Even if you think it could never happen, there are many stories out there of people pretending to be lawyers. As you might imagine, you don’t want to spend your hard-earned money on someone who doesn’t hold a law degree. Here are a few signs of what a fake lawyer is and how to watch out or avoid working with one.
- Inexistent attorney’s state bar number
Typically, each state has its own Bar which is tasked to regulate the admission of lawyers in the legal profession in that state. They also run websites where you can find all admitted lawyers. That said, a fake lawyer is someone who might present an inexistent attorney’s state bar number.
If you’re hiring a lawyer for whatever purpose, never hesitate to ask for their state bar number. This is to see if they are licensed to work as a legal practitioner in your state. You can also contact your state bar directly and check whether the individual has a license. By doing this, you’ll know what kind of person you might be dealing with for your legal needs.
- Inconsistent information in the State Bar Profile
Apart from the state bar number, asking for the person’s State Bar profile is also essential. Make sure the information on record matches the information the lawyer has given you. This includes the year they joined the Bar which can be a great indication of what age the lawyer should be.
If you notice, however, some inconsistencies between the information on the profile and the one given to you, it could mean a red flag that you should be aware of. To avoid working with a fake one, take time to verify all the information you get before hiring them. Call the designated regulatory authority or find legal jobs online with Gumtree.
- No news, stories, and publications associated with the lawyer
Nowadays, you can check if the attorney is legit through the Internet search engines. Most of the time, licensed lawyers have stories, news or publications available online. If you find a hard time looking for those kinds of information even if you take some digging around, it could be a sign that you might be dealing with a fake one.
Before you sign any contract, make sure you get the most out of the information found on the Internet by determining whether they’re real lawyers or not.
- Poorly-designed attorney’s website
Many times, lawyers create their own websites to showcase their testimonials and promote their legal services. Believe it or not, that’s how technology changes the legal profession these days.
Even a fake lawyer can also set up a website to scam their clients. Thus, if you notice a poorly-designed site where information found therein is inconsistent or lacking, it could be a signal that the attorney isn’t legit. So, before you commit yourself to a particular person, don’t forget to visit their website first and know whether it’s true and accurate.
- No record on third-party rating groups
Your state’s bar association might only provide limited information about the lawyer and their performance. For that reason, check out some third-party rating groups to help you recognize if the lawyer is a fraud or not. These rating groups, for instance, employ a patented selection process to know when a particular lawyer is outstanding.
If you find out that the one you’re dealing with doesn’t have any record with these rating service providers, you should walk away and cut down your connection with them immediately. To make sure your lawyer is worthy of your money and trust, confirm all information using these rating groups.
In the world of the legal profession, some people will impersonate lawyers to deceive and get money from several clients. If you don’t want to be the next fraud victim, you should know how to spot a fake lawyer in the first place. Try to be more cautious with your legal transactions if you don’t like to spend a single penny on working with an imposter. In the end, we hope you find this information helpful when looking for the right lawyer for your circumstances.