Scam of the day – December 21, 2012 – Holiday divorce scams

For whatever reason, the holiday season is a big time for people looking for a divorce lawyer.  Whether it is because of the holiday season’s emphasis on happy families or just families with children ready to get a divorce as soon as the holidays are over, January is a big month for divorces with many future divorcees anxious to get on with the rest of their lives.  However, whenever people are anxious to do anything, a scam artist is ready to take your money.  As with many other areas of shopping, many of us turn to the Internet to find a divorce lawyer.  Being fully aware of this, many scammer set up phony law firm websites that look legitimate and may be enticing, but may also be completely phony.  Fees paid by credit cards on line as a retainer can be lost when it turns out that the law firm is non-existent and even worse, the scammer now has your credit card which they can use to further make you a victim of identity theft.

TIPS

Divorce is not something to enter into lightly and if you are doing research about a law firm to handle a divorce, check out the reputation of the lawyer you are considering hiring with your state’s Board of Bar Overseers to find out if the lawyer is legitimate and if he or she has had complaints made against him or her.  However, even if you find that the name of the lawyer who you found on line is that of a legitimate lawyer, it does not mean that the website you found is his or her website.  Never pay a divorce lawyer or any other lawyer a retainer without first meeting with the lawyer in person to see if you are compatible and if this is someone with whom you would wish to work.