Two Victoria residents lost a combined total of over $20,000 after falling prey to a “lawyer scam” in which fraudsters made them believe that their friends required assistance.
According to Victoria Police, two separate cases of this lawyer scam were reported in the past 24 hours.
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Both victims were telephoned by a person claiming to be a lawyer representing a friend who had been involved in a serious collision in which a young girl had been killed.
According to the victims, the scammers – who were reported as being convincing and authoritative – directed them to deposit money into the accounts of another “lawyer” representing the friend for bail.
In the first instance, the victim realized they had been scammed after getting in touch with the friend in question and discovered that no collision had occurred.
The second victim contacted a family member who was immediately suspicious and urged them to call police.
Although authorities were contacted promptly, it is unlikely that the victims will get their money back.
How to avoid falling victim to the lawyer scam:
- If someone claiming to represent a friend or family member calls to request funds for bail, insist on speaking to that friend or family member directly.
- Search for local news coverage of the serious or fatal collision.
- Speak to a trusted family member or friend about the circumstances before transferring funds.
- Speak to your banking representative before transferring funds.
- Speak to a police officer or call the VicPD non-emergency line at (250) 995-7654 before transferring funds.