For those of us who have dedicated our lives to the legal profession it saddens us greatly when we hear tales of those of poor morals who have besmirched our industry’s good name with deceptive behaviour.
Sadly, though, whilst the internet has added to our lives it has also opened the door for fraudsters of all types and the legal profession is not immune.
Recently on BBC Radio 4 a journalistic piece in the programme You and Yours told of how scams and reports of fraud had doubled in 2014 from the previous year.
This excellent journalistic piece focused primarily on a man who lost £175,000 when buying a flat due to being duped by a supposed legitimate solicitor who had been found on the Law Society’s Find a Solicitor website.
This crook had communicated through emails and had stolen the identity of a solicitor as part of his plan in what was an elaborate scam.
The innocent solicitor in question, who is based in the Wirral only found out some weeks later when he started receiving emails about sums he apparently owed.
It turned out his details on the Law Society Website had been changed, and his email address pushed customers into the bogus firm’s path, and subsequently many lives were affected.
Thankfully insurance premiums ensured the victims are compensated, but cases like this mean that high quality law services become more expensive due to increased insurance costs.
This case has been alerted to law firms to ensure we do all we can to keep our houses in order, and it’s only right. However, at Bowsers we believe through this column we have an opportunity to say that this story shows the old face to face way of dealing with legal matters is still the best.
The relationship between a solicitor and his or her client is a key component in transactions that often involve sums that have a huge bearing on people’s lives.
Word of mouth still remains far and away the best source of new business for law firms and that’s why we at Bowsers are still thriving. It’s also why many other respected organisations with reputations continue to prosper.
The message of this story is simply you cannot take chances with legal services. The internet and email have provided rich pickings for villains and much of the police’s work now involves cybercrime.
It may be the 21st century, but sometimes the old fashioned ways are the best. We believe this alarming tale illustrates this with some force.