Lawyer and Client Fall for Nigerian Inheritance Scam

Email Scam AlertAccording to a recent ABA Journal article, an Iowa lawyer and his client fell for a time-worn scam involving $18.8M from a long lost Nigerian relative. The lawyer tapped other current and former clients for loans to raise $177,660 to pay the Nigerian inheritance taxes and for an “anti-terrorism certificate.” Believing the inheritance was legitimate, the lawyer agreed to perform his services on a 10% contingency. The lawyer transferred the money to the scammers. The client went to Spain to secure the inheritance, which supposedly was “stashed in two suitcases in Madrid.” Surprise! The client, lender clients and the lawyer ended up stiffed. The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Disciplinary Board recently suspended the lawyer.

I’ve been getting e-mails like this for years. Here’s the takeaway from this debacle. When you get such an e-mail, chuckle while you send it to the trash file. It’s okay to dream about what you would have done with the money, though.

By Robert Hawkinson